David Allen criticised bosses during his show on BBC Radio Solent and admitted he was “shocked” by the decision to cancel his programme. The broadcaster, who has hosted his three-hour slot for 20 years, claimed the show’s chiefs made the decision because his elderly audience, the majority who are over 75, are considered the “wrong type of listeners”.
During his Saturday show, David expressed his concern over his radio programme being cancelled, a move which he branded as “very sad and short-sighted”.
He told listeners: “I’ve got some sad news about this show.
“The BBC, in its wisdom, have decided that after 20 years and amazingly good listening figures, that this show will sadly come to an end on May 15.
“Although I never normally talk about how popular this show is, the audience share for this programme is the best on the station.
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“It is also nearly three times that of Radio 2 and over four times that of any commercial radio station in our transmission area.”
David went on: “So, I have to say I was rather shocked when I was told about the decision.
“I know how much this programme means to you and I can’t tell you how many emails and letters I get every week telling me how much you love the music that we play and the interviews that we do on the show.
“More to the point that there’s nowhere else on the BBC where you can hear this type of music played.”
David Allen blasted the corporation live on-air
David Allen has worked on the BBC show for two decades
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The BBC presenter went on to say that while he had not been given an “adequate explanation” on why his show had been axed he could only assume he had the “wrong type of listeners”.
David continued: “I have to be honest with you, I’ve not really had an adequate explanation why this programme is being axed, apart from the fact that they kind of want to go in a different direction.
“I can only assume that, although I have lots of listeners, they are the wrong type of listeners which I think is very sad and short-sighted. We have listeners on this show from all ages from 15 to 101.
“But, I guess the majority are the older age group, that’s the over 75s, who now have to pay their license fee, so surely it’s not too much to ask to have one programme in the week that caters for them and their musical choices.”
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David also urged anyone who wanted to complain about the decision to email him.
The presenter said: “I know that many of you will be disappointed and incensed by this decision and will want to know you to complain to.
“Well, there’s no point in emailing the managers of the station because they made the decision. I would suggest you email me and I will pass them on.”
He finished: “As I say this was not my decision.
“I will be very sad to leave this show and the BBC after so many years but most of all I will miss you the listener who have been so kind and supportive to this show and myself over the years. I’ve truly valued the friendship that we’ve shared.”
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A BBC spokesperson said: “We’ve explained the reasons behind this decision to David and reject the claims he made on air.
“He’s had a regular show for two decades. All radio stations change their line-ups from time to time.”
The programme is broadcast from BBC Radio Solent and syndicated across Solent, Solent, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxford and Kent.
David fronts the Saturday request show where listeners can phone in and suggest songs to be played on the programme.
After freelancing for the BBC, David took over from Richard Cartridge and was asked to fill the Saturday night slot on BBC Radio Solent in 2002.
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