Entertainment

BBC Radio presenter slams broadcaster live on air as show is axed

BBC host David Allen is none too pleased his show has been axed (Picture: Twitter)

Veteran BBC radio presenter David Allen has hit out at the broadcaster live on-air after his popular show was axed this week.

Taking to the microphone for his usual Saturday night slot on Radio Solent, Allen revealed the news to his listeners, suggesting Beeb chiefs made the decision because his elderly audience were ‘the wrong type of listeners’.

The host – who has helmed the three-hour programme for 20 years – branded the decision ‘very sad and short-sighted’ as he said: ‘I’ve got some sad news about this show.

‘The BBC, in its wisdom, have decided that after 20 years and amazingly good listening figures, that this show will sadly come to an end on May 15.

‘Although I never normally talk about how popular this show is, the audience share for this programme is the best on the station.

‘It is also nearly three times that of Radio 2 and over four times that of any commercial radio station in our transmission area. So, I have to say I was rather shocked when I was told about the decision.’

He also expressed confusion over why his Saturday night slot on the network was being binned, saying he was ‘shocked’ and had only been told ‘they want to go in a different direction’.

The BBC issued a statement after David’s programme (Picture: Getty Images)

Allen explained: ‘I know how much his programme means to you and I can’t tell you how many emails and letters I get every week telling me how much you love the music we play…and more to the point, that there’s nowhere else across the BBC where you can hear this kind of music played.

‘I have to be honest with you, I’ve not really had an adequate explanation why this programme is being axed, apart from the fact that they kind of want to go in a different direction.

‘I can only assume that, although I have lots of listeners, they are the wrong type of listeners which I think is very sad and short-sighted.’

He went on: ‘We have listeners on this show from all ages from 15 to 101. But, I guess the majority are the older age group, that’s the over 75s, who now have to pay their licence fee, so surely it’s not too much to ask for them to have one programme in the week that caters for them and their musical choices.

‘After all, this is a request show, so if you, the listener, only wanted to hear the current top 40 that is what I would play, but obviously that is not the case and let’s be honest a request show is the only true indication of what listeners want to hear.

‘There’s so much great music from all eras and it seems rather strange that radio stations only seem to want to play a limited range.’

Saying he believed listeners would be feeling ‘disappointed and incensed by this decision’, he insisted there was ‘no point’ in complaining about the axing to managers of the various stations ‘as they made the decision’, suggesting they instead ‘write or email me and I will pass them onto the relevant personnel’.

He continued on Saturday night’s show: ‘This was not my decision, I will be very sad to leave this show and the BBC after so many years.’

A BBC spokesman said in a statement to Metro.co.uk: ‘All stations make changes to their line-up from time to time to better serve audiences. We hope to work with David again in the future and thank him for all he has done in this slot.’

Allen, from Bournemouth, Dorset, got his start in radio at Bournemouth Hospital Radio broadcasting to different hospitals before he became a travel bulletin reader for AA Roadwatch. He eventually joined the BBC as a freelancer and, in 2002, took over the Saturday night slot and has remained there ever since.


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