Reports: BBC accepts U-turn on BBC Singers

Reports: BBC accepts U-turn on BBC Singers


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2023

We hear that a statement is expected tomorrow from Broadcasting House on the future of the BBC Singers.

Unlike the last statement, it will not say that they have no future.

Much of the BBC’s creative energy this week has gone into face-saving after the backlash to the Singers’ abolition.

But if the BBC Singers are reprieved, surely the Proms will have to be revised in order to accommodate them.

What a shambles.

UPDATE: 0930 today – BBC Singers are saved

UPDATE: 1000 – Jobs hanging by a thread at BBC


  • Alexander Hall says:

    It’s the only weapon we have left in order to stop the onward march of the philistines at the BBC and elsewhere, people who simply don’t give a fig about the destruction of cultural heritage: PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST. Use every available input into social media, write letters and emails, give vent to your fury in phone-in programmes, write letters to The Times, and mobilise as much public support as you can. Protest is all we have left since these overpaid and heartless managers at the BBC fear public opprobrium. Once our valued institutions are destroyed, it will be virtually impossible to bring them back to life again.

    • J says:

      To all of you advocating for protests, curious to know a) will you accept higher ticketing prices, and b) by how much? Easy to make noise and activity, but how much of that is backed up by tangible financial support?

      • Forrester says:

        Why should we accept higher ticket prices? The BBC receives a mandatory licence fee and their remit is to reach out to all. The BBC Singers deserve better than your rather ill-chosen comment, don’t you think?

      • DPM says:

        Yes. Ticket prices for concerts by BBC orchestras and ensembles are modest compared to others.

      • Orchestral Paul says:

        How about if the BBC cut their diversity manager roles and all the other highly paid woke jobbers they have started employing in recent years. It’s a matter of priorities and the BBC have got theirs all wrong

      • Maria says:

        Yes, very easy to make noise but if reprieved, those people need to do something more practical and go to their concerts and pay the price. Such thing as a free lunch in life.

  • Glynne Williams says:

    That’s good if true – but what about the decimation of the orchestras? I don’t trust the DG not to issue an ultimatum. Either you let the BBC Singers continue, or you support the BBC orchestras, but you can’t do both.

  • Herbie G says:

    Looks like another humiliating climb-down for the beleaguered BBC. Will no-one rid us of the dysfunctional morons in suits who are regularly making them a laughing stock?

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    Great news. But let’s see what’s said.

  • Ernest says:

    What a waste of time! The BBC can’t help making a fool of themselves!

  • Hazel says:

    Encouraging start. Now we need full sized orchestras reinstated

  • S M Ellarat says:

    What if it’s just a way of temporarily shutting everyone up so the Proms go ahead without protests and demonstrations……???

  • Doc Martin says:

    Could we now have a 100 % U-turn on that other cultural insanity called Brexit?

    The Windsor thing still does not solve the problem of sending parcels from Northern Ireland to my friends & relatives in EU eg Austria. What happens is they end up blocked in customs in Vienna for months, instead of being delivered within 5-7 days. Their customs folk say the problem is that they cannot tell a parcel originating from Belfast, from a GB one as they all arrive from a flight from Heathrow where Royal Mail has its hub.

    I now take the train to Dundalk and post them via Dublin by An Post so they arrive within 5-7 days as they did before Brexit.

  • Jeremy Neville says:

    If the BBC Singers are ‘reprieved’ – as should be the case – this does not mean the disgraceful manner in which Senior Managers of the Corporation tried to cloak the possible loss of this world-renowned ensemble as a measure designed to somehow improve resources and innovation will be forgotten or forgiven. And what about the savage cuts to some of the orchestras?

  • John G says:

    No doubt the BBC will seek to remove as much white colonialism as they can despite the temporary reprieve for the BBC singers.

  • Adam says:

    BBC managers show the highest degree of competence when it comes to blaming somebody else, knowing nothing, or running for the undergrowth.

  • Rosemary Burch says:

    Thank goodness common sense has prevailed, at least in this segment! Music education and the future of all aspects of music making have had a small reprieve. Now for the orchestra’s please!

  • S M Ellarat says:

    There wouldn’t have been the turnaround if the two BBC co Directors hadn’t written the ‘email to end all emails’. I hope they get the recognition they so hugely deserve. They were brave, honest and factual, the idiots higher up should take note!!!

  • DH says:

    Great news about the Singers!

    Many of us watching the magnificent ‘Wild Isles’ series with David Attenborough on BBC1 (5.7 million of us) will marvel at the species we see and hear. Sadly, we are told that the existence of so much of this life enhancing beauty is under threat because of human ignorance, greed and neglect.

    The musical score by George Fenton [Our Precious Isles] is magnificently played by the BBC Concert Orchestra. How sad too that this valuable and life enhancing resource, which also belongs to us all, is under threat.

    Cut the cutters!

  • Mary Robinson says:

    Could start by cutting their overpaid presenters salaries.

    • Herbie G says:

      Yes, get rid of the ‘suits’, to say nothing of the Celebs, each of whose astronomical salaries would probably finance the maintenance of a whole symphony orchestra.

  • John Dietmann says:

    vox populi vox dei