Fears for future of ‘Dr Rock’

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A SCARBOROUGH radio institution is facing the chop under proposed BBC cuts.

The corporation is having to make savings of 20 per cent and members of the public are being asked for their views on where the impending cuts should be made.

Under proposals from BBC Radio York a weekly rock and roll show by Charles White – who is also known as Dr Rock and has presented his show since 1993 – could go.

This has led Scarborough-based designer, and long time supporter of the show, Patrick Argent to urge people to lend their support.

Mr Argent is encouraging listeners to forward their comments and representations to Mark Thompson the Director General as part of the consultation, in a move to preserve the programme in the BBC listings.

He said: “As a leading authority on rock music, in terms of his Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis official biographies, Dr Rock’s credentials simply need no introduction.

“The programme is irreplaceble in the range of specialist rock shows and would leave a void in the local radio network of North Yorkshire and also across the BBC’s radio spectrum on the internet.“

According to an email sent to Mr Argent, by the station’s managing editor Sarah Drummond, the 20 per cent savings proposals for BBC Radio York could be achieved by April 2013 by loss of local afternoon, local early evening and some local weekend programming by approximately 40 hours per week – from the current 106 local hours - and the loss of approximately eight full-time broadcasting jobs from the radio station which has staff based in York, Scarborough and Harrogate

Two of the programmes made in the Scarborough studio would be at risk – Dr Rock and Jerry Scott’s Magic Roundabout.

There could also be a reduction in live coverage of local sports matches, a likely loss of investment in other local sports and a loss of live weather forecasts from the BBC Yorkshire team into the breakfast shows.

In the past 18 years the show’s guestlist has included countless famous musicians and bands including: Nils Lofgren, Paul Rodgers, Bill Wyman, Mick Green, Paul Carrack, Hugh Cornwell, Jools Holland, Mark Knopfler, Big Country, Colin Blunstone, Nine Below Zero, Rick Wakeman, Lindisfarne and Iron Maiden.

He added that the deadline for public consultation was Wednesday and urged people to act sooner rather than later.

The consultation document can be found online at: http://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/dqf/consultation