6 Music campaigners to take protest to charts

Campaigners aiming to save threatened BBC station 6 Music are hoping to take their protest to the charts.

Fans of the digital service, earmarked for closure under a BBC strategy review, are being urged to buy a track by cult act Half Man Half Biscuit.

They are hoping an internet campaign - like the one which propelled Rage Against The Machine to an unlikely Christmas number one - will make the song a top ten hit.

The campaign is being mobilised through Facebook, and protesters are being asked to download the song Joy Division Oven Gloves from April 6.

Despite releasing their first album Back In The DHSS a quarter of a century ago, the satirical band from Birkenhead have never had a hit in the singles chart.

They have become staples of BBC 6 Music and the station's presenters devoted an evening this week to playing songs by every music act namechecked in their song Irk The Purists.

Fronted by Nigel Blackwell, the band is noted for its sharp cultural observations and references, plus its hilarious song titles.

Over the years these have included 99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd, All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit, Running Order Squabble Fest, Whiteness Thy Name is Meltonian, Dickie Davies Eyes, Trouble Over Bridgwater, Bad Losers On Yahoo Chess and Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show.

Founders of a Facebook group urging people to buy song say they are acting because of the "scandalous" proposal to close 6 Music - and they aim to get the track to number six.

"We see this great slice of Birkenhead poetry as being a great representation of all that 6 Music is about, a home for new acts and classic music that gets no exposure anywhere else on the radio," organisers of the protest said.

The track, which first appeared on 2005 album Achtung Bono and features a nonsense lyric with references to "piccalilli shinpads" and "Nagasaki towpath".

Another Facebook campaign - coincidentally, organised by the couple behind the couple behind the Rage Against The Machine campaign - now has 164,000 followers.

BBC 6 Music presenter Adam Buxton has created his own protest song, a spoof version of David Bowie's Changes, with the line: "Still don't know why they are closing it, 'cos there are loads of things in the BBC that are much more s**t".

Bowie has already shown his opposition to the axe, and campaigners have been asked to contact the BBC Trust to register their views.