Tuesday, July 05, 2016

BBC Radio 3 is stuck in bottom gear


Stuart Armitage has it exactly right when he writes in the Guardian that "Really, the surprise isn’t that Chris Evans has quit Top Gear. The surprise is that he even hosted it in the first place". It was an act of supreme folly by the BBC senior management to expect a programme format tailored to the idiosyncratic personality of one celebrity presenter to achieve the same results under a different celebrity. The departure of Jeremy Clarkson and his sidekicks should have been used for a total creative reworking of the programme. But instead the BBC took the easy and lazy option of neglecting creativity and emphasising celebrity. The BBC is accused - usually with justification - of many sins, including bias, profligacy, and audience chasing. But its biggest sin, a total dearth of creativity, goes almost unremarked. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in BBC Radio 3 under its new controller Alan Davey. I rarely listen to Radio 3 these days. But when I do I find nothing to strongly like or dislike about it. The Radio 3 schedule is a creative desert; in fact it is no more than musical blancmange. There are many parallels between the Top Gear fiasco and BBC Radio 3. Not least because Alan Davey's only big new idea is to bring back the Pied Piper programme format. I had feared it would be Paul Gambaccini presenting the reincarnated Pied Piper. But now I suspect it will be Chris Evans.

Photo shows Zez Confrey, composer of Kitten on the Keys and Dizzy Fingers with his wheels, and comes via Wikipedia. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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