The BBC announced today that its digital radio station 6music will be axed some time next year. This news was leaked last week, and I have to admit I felt sick when I heard it. I don't want this post to be a rant about how political the BBC have become, or how they are pandering to commercial pressure... But I feel the need to explain my sick feeling.
I discovered 6music when I was on maternity leave in 2006. Then 35, I was too old (thank God) for Radio 1, but daytime Radio 2 wasn't quite my scene (although I am a TOG). 6music, in particular the then daytime DJ from 10 til 1pm, Gideon Coe, stole my musical heart. He had every track in my fantasy back catalogue. I felt the DJs were speaking to me; to use that awful word, I connected with them.
Gideon got me through the times when my eyes were stinging from lack of sleep, so much that I wanted to go and buy a box of matches to keep them open. Natasha got my Other Half and I through the early starts at the weekend. It helped that both of these DJs had young children and would often add a little silly annecdote. These amazing DJs were just like me! Well almost!
Four years and a few changeovers (some good, some bad) later, we see Lauren Laverne (brilliant), Adam and Joe (off left recently, so funny), Jarvis Cocker (totally unexpectedly amazing), Steve Lamacq (the best as ever), Craig Charles (funky on a Saturday evening) and Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone (freaky but you have to keep listening). These people know their music.
I am no longer proud of the BBC. It hurts to say that as I was always brought up to prefer the BBC to its commercial opposites (people would ask me Did you used to watch so and so, I'd say No it was probably on ITV!). It is a sad day today for British broadcasting. How can they get it so completely wrong.