Why Radio 3’s move up north is so hilarious

Why Radio 3’s move up north is so hilarious


norman lebrecht

March 19, 2021

The last three controllers of BBC Radio were all born in the north, each bringing an out-of-London perspective to the job, as well as an accent that could be turned on and off at will.

Nick Kenyon is from Cheshire.

Roger Wright is Mancunian.

Alan Davey (pic) is from Stockton-on-Tees.

The notion that any of them needed reminding that there is a country beyond London is preposterous. But not as absurd as having to move the whole of Radio 3 up to Manchester just to show that the BBC recognises its existence. The costs of relocation will be enormous, as will the redundancy payments for those who refuse to go.

This, even by W1A standards, is the BBC at its most self-caricaturing.

And why the corp controller has to shuttle up and down for meetings when his department is in the north is unfathomable. He has no need of an office for his cuddly toys in BH. If he wants to talk to London he can do it by Zoom.


  • Dick Van Dyke says:

    Cor blimey, guv’nor, did anyone seriously believe that only Londoners lived in London? You only have to spend five minutes there to know that this is nonsense.

  • Lady Weidenfeld says:

    It is laughable and ludicrous! As if anyone cares or knows where a broadcast programme is coming from. During the pandemic we have had presenters sitting in their kitchens or wherever and it has been fine. We have had many regional broadcast and recorded concerts from all over the UK and continent as always. If they have money to burn on such lunacy why are over 75s having to pay for a licence again? Nuts!

  • Anon. says:

    You clearly didn’t read your original post (https://slippedisc.com/2021/03/breaking-bbc-radio-3-shifts-to-the-north/) before writing this. Only around 50% of the BBC Radio3 staff will be moving to and broadcast output will be coming from Salford. In fact, many programmes are already produced from there. As has been proven by several radio stations (radio 3 included) programmes can be broadcast/presented from just about anywhere with great success. The only issue, as you rightly highlight, is there will be some Radio 3 staff not making the move to Salford. However, that doesn’t mean there will necessarily be redundancies.

  • Donna Pasquale says:

    Our butler is from the North.

  • christopher storey says:

    Er, yes, Anon ….. and your point is ???

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I’ve ordered ethernet cabling throughout my new (build) home. And I’ll buy an internet radio streaming device. The best classical stations are Swiss Classic and Radio Stephansdom, Vienna. I’ll be listening to them henceforth.

  • Herbie G says:

    What else can you expect from the men in suits who run the BBC?

    Alan Davey, a former obscure civil servant, is Controller of R3 and Tim Davie is now Director General of the BBC. Davie’s CV includes: UK Marketing Manager for PepsiCo in 1993 (not what you might think; it’s a company making vegetarian snacks and drinks!), Vice-President, Marketing, Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa and then Vice-President for Marketing and Franchise and erstwhile deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party in the 1990s. Can anyone explain why any of this is relevant to running the BBC?

    W S Gilbert had words for such panjandrums. Had he been satirising the BBC farce, he might, in civil servant Davey’s case, have said: ‘Stick close to your desks and drink your cups of tea and you all may be rulers of Radio Three.’
    In Davie’s case: I am the very model of a Beeb Director-General, I’ve information vegetable, vegan and mineral…
    They have presided over a general 5.4 per cent loss of audience in four years, rising to 9.4 per cent among the 16 – 24 age group: see: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18899762.bbc-risk-losing-older-viewers-audience-satisfaction-waning

    If either had been CEO of a business whose revenue had reflected the same abysmal results, provided the company had managed to remain solvent, they would have been ousted. Davey, Davie and their colleagues do imagine that they are running a business, but one whose income is guaranteed regardless of results! The Lego bricks that fill their coffers are YOUR contributions in the shape of the licence fees that are compulsory if you own a television. In the UK, one can receive 161 TV and radio stations broadcast through terrestrial channels; only 28 of these are BBC; all the others are free. If you have a Sky satellite box, you can receive upward of 528 programmes, including those 28 BBC channels. But whether you watch or listen to the BBC for 24 hours a day or not at all, you must pay the BBC £159.00 a year.
    If you live in the UK, then YOU are funding them to build what they wish with your Lego bricks, be it a Taj Mahal or a block of council flats. They are accountable to nobody, least of all YOU, for what they do with YOUR money. As Lady Weidenfeld said: laughable and ludicrous.

    We can learn two things from the USA. One is that they were founded on the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’. So much for the licence fee. The other is that businessmen should stick to business – when they stray outside that, they usually cause mayhem. Look no further than Trump. The same goes for civil servants.

  • Herbie G says:

    PS – If Ian Skelly, Suzy Klein and Georgia Mann don’t want to move north, who will fill their spaces? Piers Morgan? Ryan Giggs? Colin Murray? Ann Robinson (another string to her bow when she takes on Countdown)? Suggestions please…