Despite an impressive campaign which appealed directly to everyone from Alex Salmond’s office to the Houses of Parliament, it looks like the BBC Trust is to ignore Scottish music fans and ditch the ‘opt-out’ element of BBC Introducing.
The show, presented by Ally McCrae and occupying the graveyard slot of midnight on a Sunday on Radio One, is to be assimilated into one show, as the BBC put it, a “single programme that offers a UK-wide platform for undiscovered, unsigned music and emerging talent from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
A petition to save the Scottish show gained 7,105 signatories out of a listenership of (from BBC figures) 9,000.
The BBC, while admitting that the merged show will result in four hours less programming and acknowledging the fears that the result would be fewer live sessions in “the nations”, have tried to put a positive spin on things, pointing out that any artists featured will receive UK-wide airplay as well as claiming that the new shows will have less repeated music from previous weeks’ broadcasts (this second point seems an unlikely claim).
In reaction to the announcement, the campaigners pointed out that: “The Voice judges can continue to sit in ludicrous oversized chairs whilst counting their ridiculous appearance fees”.
It is currently unclear who will preset the new show which seems likely to be out of London or wherever the BBC is currently making their base.
Full reaction to the announcement is at the campaign page.