Thursday, June 24, 2004

Rebel Without A Pause

In a hideous act of censorship, DJ Tony Blackburn has been suspended from his Classic Gold radio show - for playing Cliff Richard songs.

On Tuesday he played the singer's 1963 number one Summer Holiday, leading to an e-mail from head of programmes Paul Baker.

"We shouldn't be playing Cliff Richard," Mr Baker wrote. "We might carry out research on him, but for now we have a policy decision that he doesn't match our brand values. He's not on the playlist, and you must stop playing him."

On his Wednesday breakfast show, Blackburn read a print-out of the e-mail live on air. He then tore it up, threw it in the bin and played two more chart-toppers by Sir Cliff - Living Doll (1959) and We Don't Talk Any More (1979).

Now I am not a cruel man by instinct. But it is difficult to imagine the amount of torture which would be too great for a mentally competent adult who is prepared to say in public that something 'doesn't match our brand values'. Such talk should be kept for internal company documents, to be circulated between consenting marketing managers only.

From hip young dude to embarrassing oldie. It's only a matter of time.

PS - for those interested in little cultural signifiers, note Ed Stewart's beard in the Radio London link - a hangover from the beat/jazz days of the fifties (Stewart played double-bass). The goatee was not to be seen again in hip society for another thirty years.

No comments: