MUSIC / Upbeat: Radio times

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The Independent Culture
MEMO to the National Campaign for the Arts (president, Melvyn Bragg): it's a fine idea to hold a special seminar on the future of the BBC, just announced for 20 January, in the light of the Government's Green Paper and the BBC's own Extending Choice. Music, most of all the arts, stands to lose from any dilution of public- service broadcasting. But if you expect that topic to get much of an airing, remember the dread example of the big three-day Brighton conference about broadcasting and the arts in Brighton this autumn.

So successfully was this hijacked by the broadcasters that its concluding resolution, a tub- thumping save-our-Beeb affair, failed to refer to the arts at all - a buffet lunch had to be stopped so that an embarrassing amendment could be passed to make token mention. No doubt the NCA can assert itself better. Otherwise we might be asking why it isn't spending its time instead lobbying for the National Lottery to give opera houses to towns of a quarter of a million.