Campaign to save music show hits Holyrood

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Politicians are backing the sound of young Scotland by pressing the BBC to resist scrapping an important music show which gives performers vital exposure to a radio audience.
 
A cross-party group of MSPs supported a motion in the Scottish Parliament today which calls for Radio One to guarantee the future of Introducing in Scotland, a Glasgow-based radio show that aims to find the best unsigned talent north of the border.

Politicians are backing the sound of young Scotland by pressing the BBC to resist scrapping an important music show which gives performers vital exposure to a radio audience.
 
A cross-party group of MSPs supported a motion in the Scottish Parliament today which calls for Radio One to guarantee the future of Introducing in Scotland, a Glasgow-based radio show that aims to find the best unsigned talent north of the border.

Under the BBC’s Delivering Quality First plans, the programme – the only Scottish opt out on Radio One – faces the risk of being axed and replaced with a show which will go out UK-wide.

Introducing in Scotland  has built a loyal audience among young people, who are traditionally hard to reach on radio. It has already been relegated from weekday evening prime time to a graveyard slot at midnight on Sunday.

The campaign in the parliament is being led by Joan McAlpine, an SNP MSP for the South of Scotland.  She has a long established interest in music and the creative industries and will lead tomorrow’s parliamentary debate.

“I strongly believe that giving new artists a platform for their music is a valuable public service in itself,” Ms McAlpine said. “The show’s producers and presenters have done important work over the last 11 years in giving new talent exposure to the listening public.

“If this programme is centralised to London, unsigned musicians from Scotland will have less coverage. Introducing in Scotland is a catalyst for the creative industries and helps to constantly feed the music industry with new artists.”

Every third week, the show – based at the BBC’s headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow – goes out across the UK, providing an important showcase for Scottish talent.

A grassroots campaign has been launched to save the show in its current format and so far 7000 signatures have been collected. As well as parliamentarians, support has come from both up-and-coming and internationally renowned artists.

Successful bands including Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand and Frightened Rabbit were first played on Introducing in Scotland, while emerging artists such as Carly Connor have found their careers kick-started by it.

Campaigners have so far met Bill Matthews, the BBC Trust’s representative in Scotland, as well as UK culture minister Ed Vaizey, and have taken their petition to the BBC in London.

In addition the SNP MP Pete Wishart – a former member of the Scottish rock band Run Rig – has brought the campaign to the attention of Westminster.

Ms McAlpine continued: “The producers and presenters of Introducing in Scotland have a unique, direct and close relationship with their audience and with young Scottish talent.

“If Introducing in Scotland were taken away, it would make it much more difficult for unknown Scottish artists to be heard. I’m delighted to be involved in this campaign and hope the BBC will think again.”