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Shaun Keaveny - The Early Morning Kensal Riser - Part III

By  journalist/writer Richard Foster
This part of the interview took place at the same time as Part II. However,  events since have overtaken this as the BBC announced plans to close down 6Music as part of its strategic review in early March.
 
Let’s add prophecy to Keaveny’s many talents. The modern day Nostradamus perhaps. We started to discuss the issue of the BBC and the challenges facing the corporation.  
 
“What concerns me,” he laments, “is that there is a grave danger that in the longer term where the BBC is heading and there is an expectation that eventually evil will prevail. The Tory press are absolutely desperate to undermine the BBC and ultimately destroy it.” 


“Not wishing to sound like Hugo Chavez or anything like that,” Shaun continues, “but the free market economy has taken us to the brink of global financial meltdown, unchecked and unfettered. As far as the media is concerned the BBC is the last bastion.  I don’t think it should be underestimated how much jeopardy the BBC could find itself in over the next few years, if it’s not properly supported by the likes of you and me.” 

“The beeb's enemies will try every trick in the book, exploit any chink in the armour. What does depress me is that all these people might get what they want, which is the disbanding or dismemberment of the BBC and then what are going to be left with? It will be like living in Italy where one man runs everything and we’ll get topless newsreaders etc. This is the world we are heading for if the BBC goes down this route. It’s not that the BBC should never be brought to book and it should be taken to task about certain things but I just fear there is a sea change of events.”  
That sea change duly came about one week after our second interview as Mark Thompson’s strategy review pinpointed BBC 6Music, alongside the Asian network and elements of website, as areas to be cut to save money. Fortunately, the campaign to defend 6Music has been vigorous and vocal and may awaken the BBC Trust to the idiocy of some of these proposed changes.  

There are the great and good and the small and not so good all lining up to save 6Music from the Director Generals’ axe. People have been pledging support, signing petitions (57,000 so far) and taking a real stance against the philistines. These supporters include people such as John Morter, who mounted the campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to Christmas No.1 ahead of Cowell and his cronies.  

Keaveny felt that if the BBC could make it to its 100th anniversary then that would in a way “would be sufficiently totemistic” to preserve its status but the events of the last few weeks have put this into doubt. Shaun is a massive advocate of the Reithian ideals upon which the BBC grew into the institution it is today, admired and revered around the world for its unique and objective output.  

All we can hope for is that the BBC Trust do listen the people and ensure that chasing ratings is not the only justification for BBC programmes, stations, networks. Keaveny is a rarity who could only really work for the BBC so we must fight the good fight and make sure that 6Music is around to celebrate the centenary.  
 

Footnote – All readers are encouraged to join the campaign to save 6Music – sign the petition  http://www.petition.fm/petitions/6musicasiannet/1000/

 There is plenty of activity being organised in defence of such a valuable service and the BBC review period is open until late May so we have the time to make our voices heard.
 

Richard Foster has his own blog  at http://fosterfire.blogspot.com and occasionally writes for Park Life
 
He also co-hosts 7th Heaven quiz  with Simon London at The Masons Arms once a month. 
 
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