BBC denies that Roisin Murphy was removed from 6 Music line-up over puberty blockers row

Programme celebrating Irish singer has been axed from the schedule, weeks after she became embroiled in a trans row

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 13 September 2023 08:09 BST
Keira Bell discusses personal experience with puberty blockers

The BBC has denied that Roisin Murphy’s recent comments on puberty blockers are the reason the singer has been removed from a scheduled programme on its 6 Music radio station.

Murphy, 50, caused controversy last month when she posted on Facebook that “puberty blockers are f***ng, absolutely desolate”, adding: “Big pharma laughing all the way to the bank.”

Puberty blockers are sometimes used by transgender children, and according to Planned Parenthood, are medical treatments that can be used to “help your body better reflect” your gender identity.

The former Moloko frontwoman later apologised for triggering an “eruption of damaging and potentially dangerous social media fire and brimstone” in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Five hours of the Irish singer’s songs, interviews and concert highlights were due to play on 6 Music next week, as part of the station’s Artist Collection, which celebrates the artists and delves into who influenced them and who their music has inspired.

The programme had been scheduled to air between midnight and 5am on Monday 18 September. However, Murphy has now been replaced by Mercury Prize-winning rapper Little Simz, 29, with the BBC insisting that the decision had been taken to align with poetry, rap and spoken word programming that is due to air on the same week.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The Artist Collections from our archive are regularly on rotation and frequently change to reflect station-wide initiatives as they get confirmed.

“Little Simz was scheduled to reflect 6 Music’s Way With Words programming, which celebrates poetry, rap and spoken word, and airs the following week, tying in with National Poetry Day.

“There was no other reason for the change. Roisin Murphy has been played on 6 Music recently and her Artist Collection remains in rotation.”

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The Independent has contacted Murphy’s representatives for comment.

Roisin Murphy

Murphy began her musical career with producer Mark Brydon as one-half of the electronic duo Moloko.

They were known for “The Time Is Now”, a remix of “Sing It Back” and “Familiar Feeling”, before Murphy went solo.

Murphy has just released her sixth studio album Hit Parade, which has earned rave reviews, including a four-star rating from Helen Brown at The Independent.

In the review, Brown wrote of the record and the controversy: “I love the way Murphy leaves all the messiness swilling around, enigmas unanswered and questions shifting along with their sonic textures. It would be a shame if such a questing artist is cancelled. Murphy’s is a unique, brave voice in music.”

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