ANDY KERSHAW‘s Radio 1 programme is to be axed after 14 years – bringing cries of disbelief from fans and those in world music circles.
Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt said that Kershaw was making way for “new DJs and new forms of music”.
But Thomas Broomen, artistic director of the Womad world music festival since 1982, attacked the decision, telling nme.com: “It seems a sad day for music when one of the country’s most adventurous national DJs cannot retain the support of Radio 1.
“Womad believes in musical diversity and alternatives of choice for music audiences, and we believe that audiences are easily pigeonholed as being only interested in one particular area of music. Andy has always represented the stand against such blinkered attitudes, and the BBC diminishes itself by shutting the door on his fresh and consistently changing musical point of view.”
Accepting that Kershaw is “the undisputed expert in his field,” Parfitt commented: “It is essential that Radio 1 keeps moving and changing, providing space to showcase the newest talent.
“Andy has been a dedicated Radio 1 presenter for many years and I appreciate the love and care that has gone into his work for the network.” Parfitt added that Kershaw will continue to work for BBC radio later in the year.
His final show is tomorrow night (May 25), and the show will be replaced by a series of one-off programme specials. The first two, on June 1 and 8, will be fronted by former London Live DJ Ross Allen, who will play “an eclectic” variety of music, according to a spokesperson, who added: “The world music show will not be replaced by another world music show, because it is not the sort of music that fits easily into one slot on a station aimed at young people. But it will feature across other programmes.”
On June 15 in the Thursday night slot there will be a repeat of Gilles Peterson‘s documentary Afrobeat, and live performance from Femi Kuti.