BBC 6 Music – Motion to be tabled

“That this House congratulates 6 Music on its diverse and rich mix of music genres, including indie, dance, rock, RnB, soul and reggae; welcomes the station’s commitment to support new music of unknown, up and coming artists; notes with deep concern recent newspaper speculation that the BBC is considering closing 6 music; and calls on the Government to encourage the BBC to continue its support for thestation for many years to come.”

102 thoughts on “BBC 6 Music – Motion to be tabled”

  1. Here Here.
    And that furthermore the weekends would be much duller without Messrs Bacon and Morgan on Saturday and Sunday afternoons respectively!

  2. BBC programming of such stations as 6 music is required and essential in the support and nurturing of new music. The withdraw of funding of BBC6, in my opinion, be a real loss to the growth in this country’s diverse musical output.

  3. Nice one! I have just emailed my MP Phil Willis and asked him to support your motion. If 6 Music had an FM band I don’t think listener figures would be an issue.

  4. You’ve got my vote on this one. I have been walking about all day as if someone’s died. Seriously. 6music has been a BIG part of my life since virtually day one. A Magnificent station – the reason I switch on the radio. Can’t think of anything else that I would feel the need to tune into.

    Good on ya…

  5. Hear hear, it’s disgraceful that they would think about closing one of the very few innovative arms of the BBC that’s left, and yet still allow BBC3 to broadcast. The music and DJs of 6music are varied and very very fun to listen to. My personal favourite is Guy Garvey on a Sunday night, he’s the one person on radio who can project a true sense of warmth and belonging. If 6music does go, I truly hope he is signed on another radio station as his would be a massive loss to the world of radio.

  6. …possibly add something about how 6 Music is the most viable outlet for showcasing the best U.K. music to a worldwide audience?

    Thanks so much for doing this.

  7. I couldn’t agree more. 6 Music is the best thing the BBC have done in years, and i would have thought it represents their core values. Intelligent, knowledgable, and inspiring broadcasting for real music fans. Great to see that you are tabling this motion.

  8. Very much agree with this. Thought the idea of BBC charter was to preserve diversity in national broadcast content and protect less mainstream interests rather than pander exclusively to mass market tastes. Best of luck…

  9. Well Done Mr Watson, I am with you, whoever is making these decisions at the BBC needs to be looking at what 6music actually does. If they want to save money they need look no furthet than their own building where they chucked our £59m down the toilet.

  10. Quite simply, this is Mark Thompson looking after his post election future (should, god forbid, the Tories get in). They don’t understand why the commercial sector can never deliver a 6Music – they tried with XFM and ended up playing mainstream dross to just keep the advertisers happy. Fine for some but useless for those who enjoy the clever, the quirky and the niche. Vote Labour, save 6Music.

  11. Thank you for this motion and you have my entire family’s full support. Shame on this country if we axe a such a cultural asset. Let’s fight corpotate blandness and invest in genuine expertise and enthusiasm.

  12. I’m too depressed to write too much of a comment. Doesn’t Cameron listen to Radiohead and the Smiths – or is he more concerned about the lyrical content of Lily Allen’s music these days?

    Will 5live Sportsextra go now – and kill off test match special as well? i’m sure talksport could offer up their own version……… humbug!

  13. Whilst I agree with the sentiments in this motion, surely one of the strengths of the BBC is its independence from the Government? The Government shouldn’t encourage the BBC to make any decision, no matter how noble the cause, as it could undermine this independence.

  14. Thank you. 6Music has introduced me to countless new UK artists over the last few years & I can’t imagine where I would find out about such a range of talent in the future if it were to close.

  15. I’m 62 years old and have listened to 6Music for the last 4-5 years. This news is devastating and I for one will fight tooth and nail to keep it going. The thought of having only those banal idiots on the other BBC channels to listen to makes me sick.
    The quality of the presenters is fantastic – Shaun, Lauren, Nemone, Steve, Tom etc – and now Sunday afternoons just float by with Jarvis. This has got to be a sick joke!!

  16. Thanks for this. Hope it works.

    6 music is THE best thing about the BBC. There is no commercial alternative out there.

  17. God bless you for doing this. 6music is the Last Great Hope for UK music radio. To sacrifice it now as a gesture would be a cultural crime.

  18. This needs debate in the house – the Trust review commended 6Music for it’s unique offering just a couple of weeks ago and now we get this news. The only station I listen to – am really disgusted that something of such high quality which informs and entertains should even be considered for the chop. And all to placate the Tories and the Murdochs. Shame on the BBC Director General for his spinelessness.

  19. 6music is a unique and valuable service – it is precisely the sort of thing that the BBC is there to provide – there are no commercial alternatives, it must continue

  20. HEAR HEAR, (waves papers around) Whilst I think that the government have better things to do than talk about radio stations, and if they dont there’s something seriously awry, I do support anyone supporting 6Music as its ace.

  21. This is an absurd idea of the BBC’s, intended to throw small fry to the Murdoch/Cameron shark, whilst retaining services that cost far, far more and overlap almost completely with commercial competitors. BBC3 springs immediately to mind.

  22. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tom. I have written to my own MP (and am encouraging all friends to do the same) to support your motion, and I wish you the very best of luck with it. This cannot be allowed to happen.

  23. Good work fella! How can the beeb justify exorbitant salaries for presenters such as Moyles, particularly in this climate, whilst consider ditching a whole station or two, and in doing so cast possibly hundreds out of a job and deprive listeners who absolutely love this station, nothing else comes close!

  24. Here here!! I’m prepared to go to war over this decision. This is a call to arms! Radio 6 forever!!

  25. The public needs a broadcast service that plugs the yawning musical chasm left by the risible playlists that R1 and R2 offer.

    6Music – and Tom Robinson in particular – has provided that service.

    Commercial radio would never have put John Peel on the air and it seems that in recent years R1 and R2 have been increasingly sidelining new music in favour of the products of televised talent shows and big name artists from both sides of the Atlantic.

    We need a public broadcaster to commit to homegrown talent. We really don’t need radio output dominated by Ke$ha, Jay-z, Rihanna, Chiddy Bang and Pixie Lott.

    Like it or not, the BBC is at the helm of our future musical cultural heritage. There is an inherent responsibility to steer a clever course. Unfortunately there is no evidence of intelligence having a hand on the rudder.

    The possible closure of 6Music merely underlines the point.

  26. Go for it, the BBC has plenty of dross to cut elsewhere, BBC 3 obviously, it should preserve the quality content that commercial broadcasters don’t care about.

  27. If I lived in West Brom, I’d vote for you on this alone, and I’m really not a Labour party fan. Good on you keeping in touch with real issues.

  28. US radio broadcaster and music enthusiast – Six Music represents amazing diversity and quality, and is a beacon of good music internationally – there are better ways to deal with budget adjustments than by slashing a viable and quality radio station.

  29. 6music is the only thing i listen to on the radio – the only thing worth listening to in my humble opinion! Go go Tom!

  30. I love 6 Music. How does getting rid of it benefit anyone? Who else plays anything like as eclectic a mix of music?

    Nobody, that’s who. Shame on the BBC for even considering it and shame on the Tories for claiming it’s a “sensible and intelligent” proposal. That’s from the Shadow Culture Minister…

  31. I am completely in support of keeping 6 music going. Its one of the best radio stations out there and a credit to the BBC. It would be a serious mistake to lose it and leave the UK in bland radio hell. Thanks Tom – you have my vote!

  32. Good luck Tom! Closing 6Music goes directly against the stated aim of quality not quantity, particularly if BBC3 survives at the same time. I thought we’d reached the bottom of the dumbing down barrel, but looks like there are more depths to plumb. 6Music could not possibly survive unharmed as a commercial station. Listening figures don’t tell all. This isn’t your standard sonic wallpaper station that is just on in the background that can be bought by the yard. I suspect most listeners to 6Music actually listen, as there are often genuine surprises that go on to help form their musical taste – John Peel would be proud. The BBC never really understood what they had in him till he’d gone. Please don’t kill this unique public service broadcasting gem, it’s what the BBC is for. Leave the wallpaper to the commercial stations. Radio 1 endlessly jingles ‘in new music we trust’, while 6Music just quietly gets on with the job of playing it as a given.

    The small audience is partly a function of the bungled experiment that is DAB. I really can’t see FM being switched off any time soon. If 6Music was also available on FM, I suspect the figures would leap. How many people have DAB radios in their vehicles? I do, as well as three other DAB radios that will largely be redundant if 6Music switched off. It’s not perfect, but the BBC should listen to the clamour and improve it. There’s enough feedback on Facebook et al to last a lifetime now. Think how much has been saved on opinion polls!

  33. I’m horrified at the news that 6 Music may be axed in a Tory point-scoring exercise. 6 Music is one of the best and most unique examples of what Britian and it’s culture stands for (I include the threat to Asian Network in this rant). 6 Music soundtracks my life and since I have discovered it’s magnificence I have lead a measurably more bearable life in what can seem like an utterly wrotten Britain. It’s reach and life support effects can never be underestimated-not to mention what it has undoubtedly done for the music industry and therefore the British economy. Music does bring people together and I’m sure, judging from the outrage I have read so far the Conservatives will not only lose votes from 6 Music’s audience it will long danger any reputation they still have (which is none in my book).
    I will be joining every campaign possible!!

  34. 6Music is what the BBC is all about – not reality shows, not highly paid presenters, but important, independent, exploratory, challenging, uncommercial – the soirt of John Peel lives on. Defend 6Music…..Jame Murdoch cannot be allowed to dismantle and take over our broadcaster.

  35. If you were my MP I’d vote for you at the election on this issue alone!

    If the BBC has to save money then why not sell off Radio 1 to a commercial radio station!?

  36. The principles of Lord Reith, the non-commercial nature of the BBC and the eclectic model of the shows of John Peel are all things acknowledged by 6 Music.

    6 Music could do with some tweaking, as all stations should, but where else can you hear obscure retro music and new bands not plugged to death by record companies on Radio 1 etc? 6 Music is delivering on the public service remit identified in a BBC Trust report – sad that a Cameron-associate is behind this latest plan to cull 6 Music.

    The BBC could save money elsewhere – is it necessary to have dance/talent shows that are similar to ITV1 output all year round? What’s the point in buying The Wire years after it was shown on FX and is available cheaply on DVD? Could folk like Moyles be paid less, or maybe Radio 1 privatised? What about folk like LLoyd Webber or the caring souls who plug their singles on Comic Relief/Children in Need/Sports Relief giving a portion of their resulting royalties back to the Beeb?

    & if anything is to go, how about the dire BBC3 whose output apart from repeating some popular BBC1/2 programmes (Dr Who, Eastenders, Top Gear etc) is largely dire? BBC3 has pointless stuff like American Dad & Family Guy that is widely available and popular in DVD sets and makes dire output which is usually sensational and tacky with a thin proviso of being educational, e.g. Freaky Easters, Hotter Than My Daughter, My Breasts & I, Butcher of the Year etc.

    Make the cuts elsewhere and save 6 Music ! The mainstream isn’t everything and culture should be represented regardless of mass-appeal. That’s what the licence fee is for and 6 Music should be there as The Proms are each year.

    Respect to the models of Peel and Reith…

  37. 6Music (& Asian Network) is exactly what the BBC should be doing more of under it’s public service remit, serving specialist interests not covered by the commercial sector.

  38. I moved to England when I was 10 in 1990 and discovered Radio 1. Living in the artistic wasteland of Sevenoaks in Kent, at that age the station provided me with a window into a musical world I had up to then been entirely unfamiliar with. My taste in British music had been almost entirely shaped by my parents’ LPs and cassettes – from Cream to Clapton, Jimi Hendrix to Television and Paul Simon etc… Through Radio 1, I got into contemporary British and American bands, bought albums and then went to gigs up in London for the first time when I was 14. I was sucked into music and musical culture. Over the years I’ve migrated to other stations for my music fix – XFM for a while (until the adverts drove me away) a bit of Jazz FM and Radio 2. But then I bought a digital radio in 2005 and stumbled upon 6 Music – it was a revelation and totally different from any other station I had ever encountered.

    Even in an era of mp3 players and widely available music on the internet, you can’t beat radio for that sense of journeying into the unknown. However, this idea is predicated upon not knowing what is going to be played next. 6 Music was the first station I had come across that was, and still is, consistently stimulating. Endless variety, diversity, and unpredictability, amongst its presenters and their tastes. That’s what it was five years ago, and what it still is.

    For this reason, and if the BBC cares at all about its — at a guess — 20 to 30 something constituency who hold it dear, I would strongly argue for 6 Music to be preserved. 700,000 listeners may not be a big number when it comes to radio audience figures but what is the point of the BBC if it can’t cater for these sizeable minorities that have nowhere else to go?

  39. This House thinks that the BBC is overstaffed and pays ‘star’ broadcasters too much from public money.

  40. What sane entity, faced with overspending, cuts the customer-facing services which are its reason for being? There has been a recent expenses debate which has re-affirmed that politicians must serve the people and now the BBC must find a way of reducing its cost to the honest licence fee payer without cutting a station dedicated to quality programming that is inclusive to all who love modern music.

  41. 6music is the only music station worth listening to. No other station plays such an eclectic mix of quality music and has such an enthusiatic rota of presenters.

  42. Thanks so much for this.

    I think you will find that you have tapped into a wide constituency of people who will be disenfranchised by this hasty, short-term decision to axe a digital readio station that encapsulates the very essence of the BBC and it’s mission to broadcast.

  43. Thanks, Tom. I’ve been listening to 6Music from the start, and I don’t know what else would be on my radio if it wasn’t there, it’s unique.

  44. I am delighted that you are tabling this motion in parliament. BBC 6music is an excellent station with DJs who are passionate about music, it would leave a large musical void in my life it were gone.

    I have contacted my local MP Sir Robert Smith and I have asked him to support this motion.

  45. I emailed this to the BBC Trust, as well as the DG and Director of Radio:

    “As a licence fee payer, I am writing to express my horror and dismay regarding the potential closure of BBC 6Music.

    I am 27 years old, and my musical tastes are no longer reflected by the selection available on Radio 1 and are not yet reflected by the selection available on Radio 2. However, when I discovered BBC 6Music, I was thrilled. This station plays a huge, fascinating, eclectic range of music, and also includes hilarious comedy and intelligent cultural discussion. Even better, while some similar music might be available late-night on Radio 2 or on some commercial stations, this excellent content is available throughout the day and with no adverts to interrupt it.

    When I heard that 6Music might be closed down, I was appalled. This is by far the best radio content, indeed any content, produced by the BBC for people of my age. I wanted to register my shock and unhappiness now, in case there is any chance that this may mean the station can be saved. I would also urge you to take notice of the campaigns taking place via Facebook and Twitter, as well as the online petition, in which licence fee payers are expressing their dismay at this possible news.

    In your positions of authority at the BBC, I feel you have a duty to protect such excellent content; this is the sort of thing that Britain should be proud of, and it is truly unique. The fact that 6Music is not necessarily a commercially viable station is the very reason that the BBC should provide it, public service broadcasting at its most important.”

    Please represent our views to Parliament. It’s something many people feel strongly about.

  46. BBC 6 music is the first thing I hear in the morning, while getting dressed for work. It keeps me company while I cook tea/wash up. It is the last thing I hear before I go to sleep at night.

    The hints and tips of the researchers/presenters have improved my record collection, and broadened my musical tastes massiveley over the passed 5 yrs. I cannot imagine a world without it.

  47. Yes absolutely! Surely BBC 6 Music stands for everything the BBC was supposed to support! It isn’t driven by commercial priorities but by quality and it supports new British music which is one of our biggest exports. Just because it doesn’t have the listening figures of Radios 1 and 2 doesn’t mean it isn’t worth saving. If the BBC Trust axes 6 Music as an answer to criticisms of the BBC and the licence fee it will actually be undermining everthing that’s good about the BBC!

  48. Thank you Tom, I can only echo the positive comments that have been written above. The quality of 6 music is something that cannot be found elsewhere. BBC radio will loose a listener entirely if they remove this station.

  49. Thank you!!

    If the BBC needs to cuts costs and review it’s potential monopoly, might I suggest the look at dropping a service the commerical markets may actually be interested in and not a station which has the freedom to do something that is actually unique and irreplacable.

    I have written to my local MP requesting her support for your motion on my behalf. If she doesn’t she can kiss goodbye to my vote.

  50. As has been mentioned rather a lot lately, 6 Music is indeed the secret gem of the BBC. No other station touches it in my opinion. Sadly, rather than give it a loving polish and display it better, the BBC employed Lesley Douglas to daub flourescent paint all over it.
    She’s gone, the paint is mostly gone, and the gem is shining again like a beacon in a land of drab, bland, samey and safe commercial radio.

    Please help to save it.

    Many thanks.

  51. Good Luck to you. 6Music is a station that genuinely supports new and non-mainstream music, and as such is unlikely to be replaced by a commercial offering. Better to drop Radio 1, which is just commercial radio without the ads…

  52. BBC 6 Music is easily the best radio station on air. Our politicians generally take any chance they can to undermine the BBC, as they are anxious to ingratiate themselves with the Murdoch empire, who of course want the BBC undermined as the BBC offers a service which the public much prefer to the shoddy tat that News International puts out. Well done for oppossing moves to scrap Radio 6, the public will be with you (especially music fans) even if many senior politicians and the commercial media won’t be.

  53. I have been an avid daily listener of 6music since it’s inception. I cannot tell you what joy it brings to my life. There was simply nothing before it. It evokes the spirit of the late great John Peel. Guy Garvey, Gideon Coe, Stuart Maconie, Huey Morgan, Jarvis Cocker et al are incredible broadcasters who entertain and educate at the same time. The decision to axe it is nothing less than cultural vandalism. Thank you so much for championing the cause

  54. Well done. Am in agreement with the comments that BBC 6Music represents the BBC’s core values.
    Music is one thing at which this country still punches way above its weight in global terms (go anywhere in the world – we are everywhere and we are great!) and the outlet which is 6Music is a vital part of that.
    Heard the other day that this type of programming should be moved over to Radio 1. No way!! Totally different audience and totally different ethic. Impossible for there to be room for it too.
    Good luck with motion mate.

  55. Well done Tom Watson. I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to find out more. SAVE 6 MUSIC…

  56. Thank you for this. 6Music is a great example of the BBC doing exactly what it should, and provides an irreplaceable service for artists and listeners.

  57. There is nothing else that broadcasts anything close to the quality of this station. Without 6music a gaping void will be opened for the dedicated listeners, a void that cannot possibly be filled by R1 or R2. Surely there are many other ways to claw back the fairly minimal (compared to other mainstream output) budget for this station. To axe this station would be an unconscienceable act of ignorance, or to quote Phil Jupitus “an act of cultural vandalism, and an affront to the memory of John Peel”

  58. Good for you Tom. Six Music is the only reason I bought a digital radio. This is what I wrote to the BBC’s complaints web page:

    “I am deeply concerned at the possibility that BBC Radio 6 may be closed as part of a cost-cutting exercise at the BBC. There is no other national music station that has the breadth of scope that 6music provides. Its DJs and presenters are likeable, intelligent and passionate about music and the concentration on new and on uncommercial music is unrivalled in this country. 6’s sister stations place more emphasis on chat and commercial music aimed at the teenage market (Radio 1) or on middle-of-the-road, nostalgic rock and lightweight current affairs (Radio 2).

    If this closure goes ahead, more than half a million people are going to look elsewhere for their music. They won’t find it at the BBC any more (I can’t imagine that many of Bob Dylan, Huey Morgan or Guy Garvey’s listeners are likely to want to listen to the like of Chris Moyles or Steve Wright), so they’ll go elsewhere, which means of course, to internet radio stations, the majority of which are hosted overseas.

    The loss of Radio 6 will be a sad day indeed, and the BBC will have just lost a listener for good. 6Music is an example of what the BBC does best, and it’s being taken away to appease some politicians. Phill Jupitus had it so perfectly right when he called this move ‘cultural vandalism’ ; really, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

  59. 6 music fills a much needed gap. I’ve listened since the first day and nothing comes close to the quality and diversity of 6 music. Everyone needs to voice their opinion about how their license fee is spent and protest as loudly to the BBC to stop these proposals from happening.

  60. Thank you for this motion. As with others, 6 Music is why I bought digital radios – and gave them as presents to my family and friends so that they could listen too. 6 Music has never been given the exposure it deserves. The BBC are quite mad to suggest cutting one of the very best things they do (and no, R2 won’t do instead).

  61. 6 Music must not be scrapped. It provides an important and unique service for a tiny fraction of the costs of (for example) BBC3 on television. It informs, educates and entertains in the spirit of BBC values. Commercial rivals will not and cannot fill this gap! 6 music is like the radio 3 of non-classical music, it plays new artists, doesn’t stick to boring playlists and takes risks rather than familiar overly populist tracks. 6 music may not have the highest listenership, but it is new, digital, and not heavily advertised. It is growing and among those who do listen it is very highly cherished as a unique, high quality service. The main reason I own a DAB radio is for 6 Music.

  62. Brilliant, thank you for recognising
    BBC 6 Music as an unsung treasure of broadcasting that has no commercial equivalent and upholds the greatest aspects of the Reithian (and Peelian!) traditions of intelligent entertainment, championing underrepresented communities, and nurturing new British talent.

  63. Keep 6 Music. It is an important outlet for the music of unsigned bands and has no commercial analogue. It falls well within the remit of the BBC to educate and entertain by exposing people to music that they would not otherwise listen to. It is the embodiment of the spirit of John Peel. Please don’t kill it!

  64. I fully support this motion. 6 Music is not only an excellent radio station that plays a diverse range of music that can’t be obtained elsewhere in this country, it is also a vital and supportitve platform for the many and varied artists that produce this kind of music.

    In a time when music is being sadly and routinely homogenised by commercial broadcasting and record producers, 6 Music is indicative of the kind of diverse broadcasting that the BBC should stand for.

    Paying the license fee for such endeavours is worthwhile. Paying it to listen to the same drivel I can get everywhere else is not.

  65. You know, if more Labour MPs were like you I could see myself voting Labour again, despite everything. Thanks Tom – you’re starting to restore my faith.

  66. Hands Off Radio 6 Music – the very best in music with best presenters. Utter madness even to consider it’s closure. Good luck Tom Watson

  67. The BBC has always been one of Britain’s outstanding achievements and 6 Music is a recent part of that. Shutting 6 Music is just another step in the dumbing down and commercialisation of broadcasting. If the BBC can’t support 6 Music then it is getting harder to understand whether the BBC really is something we can still be proud of, or whether those who continually knock the BBC on behalf of commercial ‘competitors’ are actually winning. It’s a very sad sign of the times.

  68. Can anyone explain why no MP’s from the conservative side of the house signed the EDM. I don’t see it as a party political issue. My own MP (conservative) gave me a commitment of support – I sent him a link to the EDM but nothing. After my pressing he has agreed to write to BBC Trust – I think the conservative party whips need to be whipped!

  69. Thank you for tabling this motion – hopefully this will get cross-party support as we know there are BBC 6 Music supporters from all corners of the House. Save 6 Music!

  70. I’m not one of your constituents but, if I was, you’d be able to count on my vote in the forthcoming election!!

  71. Well done for raising this motion. 6Music is always on in my house. It is the reason I bought 2 digital radios and an internet radio. What will I do with them now? What am I going to listen to that gives such a consistant quality of programming and music. What are the Britsh Internet/Digital Radio manufacturers going to do?

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