Julian Lloyd Webber: The BBC no longer exists

Julian Lloyd Webber: The BBC no longer exists


norman lebrecht

March 21, 2023

From his response to the proposed musicians cuts in this week’s Radio Times:

‘How did we get to this point? What has happened to our nation’s beloved BBC – the organisation that has been responsible for some of the greatest classical music broadcasts in history?

‘That BBC no longer exists. The dereliction of its core principles has happened stealthily, over many years and with a lack of transparency that has eroded trust both inside and outside the organisation.’


  • Frank D'Souza says:

    If Julian Lloyd Webber is right, then we who treasure it, must fight and fight and fight again, to save this unique and utterly irreplaceable organisation.

    • Barry says:

      If Julian Lloyd Webber is right, it needs to change back to what it was before “we” can consider saving it.

      In fact there’s no “we” because “we” have little or no control over it.

  • Mystic Chord says:

    Mr Webber succinctly hits nail on head. We need more high profile voices like his to make the point.

  • Mark Wakelam says:

    This is an act of cultural vandalism, perpetrated by those who not only do not care about the musical tradition of the BBC, but aim to destroy it by any available means. Stealth and unaccountably are two of their strongest cards.

  • Greg says:

    It’s shocking that the BBC pays a sports commentator £1.3m but is slashing the budget of It’s English orchestras and scrapping the Singers. You can get sports commentary anywhere, not live classical music though.

  • Herbie G says:

    All well and good to say that this is an appalling act of vandalism and of course, that’s a popular view on SD – and needless to say I agree. But I am a practical sort of guy and I am wondering what can be done about it. I don’t think there’s any hope whatsoever that they will return to their former glory. We who want that to happen are a small minority. They are hell-bent on reversing the decline in their audience and think they can do so by churning out more and more facile rubbish.

    • Phoebe says:

      Also look at their audience …. Who are they really needing to serve nowadays. The cultural rot started long ago …..

  • Richard says:

    The singers of the BBC singers, individually and collectively are the finest sight readers. They can make music of fly dirts on a newspaper.

  • Gustavo says:

    Don’t mention the Brexit!

    ‘Twas a success…

    • mikealdren says:

      Why mention Brexit? What has that got to do with the BBC music cuts?

      Was Covid the problem too?

      • Gustavo says:

        The combined effects of Brexit, the ailing healthcare system, excess mortality thanks to sluggish governmental responses, the loss of Russian oligarchs in London due to a military operation elsewhere, the passing of EIIR, the frantic attempt to revive the principles of Thatcherism after a series of serious governmental crises – all this is choking up economically, I suppose.

        Happy to receive evidence that the above is utterly wrong and Great Britain is facing the advent of an economic miracle.

  • Richard says:

    What’s really sad and embarrassing is that JLW’s response to the crisis at the BBC is to join GB NEWS. He now shares airwaves with COVID deniers, xenophobes and conspiracy theorists.

    • Clare says:

      Greater diversity of opinion on GB News than the BBC.

      The relative lack of attention given by the BBC to mass rape in places like Rotherham has been a disgrace. But I suppose you regard the coverage of such crimes as “xenophobia”?