Letter: Tuning in and turning off BBC radio stations

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article on Radio 1 (1 February) is seriously flawed in its argument.

The old-style format of the station was dictated by events in 1967 when the government closed the pirate stations and had to provide a substitute for them. In time commercial radio has taken over this role, as the pirates wanted anyway, which means that the BBC should now be free to run a genuinely public service-orientated popular music channel.

The fact is that under the new regime an eclectic and radical disc jockey such as John Peel has not only moved to a peak Saturday slot but increased his audience. This suggests that, at last, Radio 1 is doing the job it should have been doing all along: providing a discerning and critical alternative to the rampant commercialism of the music business.



London, N17

1 February