John Whittingdale: the BBC is “essential” to music

The Corporation's radio stations "cater for tastes which are not served by the commercial sector” says the culture secretary

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The culture secretary has praised the BBC as “essential” to music.

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“I regard the BBC’s contribution to music in this country as absolutely essential,” John Whittingdale told an event run by trade body UK Music in Westminster, “I want the BBC to go on providing services like Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 – all of which cater for tastes which are not served by the commercial sector.”

Whittingdale is often seen as critical of the Corporation, a tricky prospect for the Beeb as the minister overseas the charter renewal process. He told the crowd, which included artists such as Sam Smith and Sandie Shaw, that “in some ways, actually, my criticism of the BBC is that they don’t do enough for music.”

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“Radio is very well served” he commented, but on “TV I’d actually like to see a bit more.”