A few weeks ago the BBC Asian Network announced that they were ending my show, Electro East. There’s only 3 more shows left and we’re going all out to make them as special as possible, continuing with our “Heroes Of Bass” season that’s already had Fresh, Zinc, Adam F & Horx and Shy FX in the studio. Benga and Audio Dakoos are still to come, as well as the 200 track final show.
On Friday night, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, The Times leaked a report stating that the BBC Asian Network and 6Music were going to be shut down.
Cue loads of upset, Facebook groups, tweets and uncertainty. The fact is that reviews of the BBC’s output have been underway for a while now and there was always a chance that some stations were going to go. Also, bear in-mind that The Times is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has a vested interest in the downfall of the BBC. No one knows the final outcome. Until tomorrow morning apparently.
I was really upset that the Asian Network canned Electro East and Pathaan’s Musical Rickshaw as to me, those shows amongst others, were what stood the station apart from the other more mainstream stations Asian or otherwise. I don’t like the idea of dividing music by race, but if it’s going to happen you need to represent the whole spectrum, and I like to think that’s what our shows helped do. Being fired and replaced by someone younger/faster/stronger would have vexed me but at least that platform for underground music would still be alive. To use the Asian Network’s analogy to an archetypal Asian family; Electro East is the black sheep the family didn’t understand, and dis-owned. It’s “East is East” all over again!
And it’s because of that my initial reaction to the story of the stations closure was “what goes around comes around”. But then I realised that it was that same, managerial knee-jerk reaction to close the station that affected me, all be it a few rungs down the ladder. That pre-emptive, stab-at-protective action could take down two stations that do stuff, with or without me, no one else in the world does. They both deserve our support.
If you want to complain about Electro East finishing too, well, who am I so stop you? 😉
Addendum with regards to ratings:
It may be useful to note that quoted listening figures are collected via “Rajar”, where a selection of listeners note what they listen to via Anlalog/DAB in a diary. I’m not sure but figures collected via listening thought TV figures may also be included. The main point to note from this is that internet listenership is NOT counted. I would hazard a guess that 6Music and Asian Network are consumed mainly via the internet.