6 Music: BBC blames slip-up for shooting down Archers

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The Independent Online

BBC presenter Shaun Keaveny turned his show over to The Archers theme today after a bungle meant listeners to the Radio 4 rural soap heard three minutes of rock tunes last night.

The 6 Music host played the jaunty signature tune during his breakfast show to make up for the first five minutes of yesterday's edition of life in Ambridge being cut.

Instead Marc Riley's show on 6 Music was accidentally broadcast on the highbrow network, with listeners hearing him play a tune by The Undertones.

Keaveny played the full version of the Archers tune and told listeners: "I think we've now completely redressed the balance."

BBC 6 Music is under threat in a strategic review that proposes to close the digital service along with the Asian Network. BBC bosses, by coincidence, have talked about taking the best bits of 6 Music and putting them on other stations.

Keaveny joked today: "I actually don't think it was a mistake - it could actually be a new management direction. It might just be a stealth way of putting us on as many different networks as possible, to get us as much exposure as possible.

"A last-gasp attempt to get us over the million mark of listeners. I applaud it if that's the case. Stick us out over the 10 o' clock news for five minutes."

The BBC explained that the loss of the first few minutes of The Archers was due to a slip-up when on-air output for 6 Music was switched from London to Manchester, where Riley presents his show.

A switch was accidentally flicked which meant the digital station also went out over the Radio 4 airwaves.