World Music Decision Rebuked by Gilchrist

Plans by BBC Radio Scotland to axe a world music show – as part of a revamping of its schedule – has come in for stinging criticism by The Scotsman's 'radio listener', Jim Gilchrist.

Begins Gilchrist today: “There was a certain world-weary irony in learning that BBC Radio Scotland, in another of its unfathomable scheduling deliberations, is planning to axe the excellent Mary Ann Kennedy’s Global Gathering. I had, after all, just recently witnessed yet another highly successful Celtic Connections season in Glasgow, bursting at the seams with the kind of culturally diverse music that Global Gathering celebrates.”

He later writes: “According to Radio Scotland, the plan is to replace Global Gathering with a revamped version of the classical music programme Classics Unwrapped, which currently goes out on a Sunday afternoon. I’m also a classical (and contemporary) music listener, but for that I tune in to Radio 3, which makes a proper job of it, as well as managing to schedule some first-class jazz and world music programmes. If Radio Scotland wants to develop its currently rather limited approach to classical music, that’s well and good but it should not be at the expense of a distinctive and widely valued show such as Global Gathering.”

The rescheduling plans is mainly about making daytime output more speech-led and the evening more music.

On Tuesday, a BBC Radio Scotland spokesperson was quoted in The Scotsman saying both Kennedy and Janice Forsyth, whose Saturday morning music show is also facing the axe, will continue to have a role with the Corporation: “We will be talking to both about other programmes. We still very much see them as part of the Radio Scotland family of presenters. We would like them to keep presenting music-based shows.”