Radio 1 have shrugged off allegations of ‘payola’ and corruption after a report in the Independent On Sunday accused the station of turning a blind eye to DJs such as Pete Tong playing records on a label in which he has a direct financial interest.
Although it is no secret that Tong is involved with London records subsidiary ffrr, the IOS suddenly solicited quotes from Tory culture and media spokesman Peter Ainsworth, calling for an enquiry by the BBC board of governors. They said that the situation could deal “a serious blow to public confidence in the BBC“.
They pointed out that over the past two years Tong has played at least 240 tracks by 45 artists on ffrr, including Armand Van Helden‘s hit ‘You Don’t Know Me’.
“We told then that we were aware of the situation and aware of the possibility of abuse but that we were satisfied that there were no conflicts of interest,” a Radio 1 spokesman told nme.com. “
The spokesman pointed out that Tong‘s playlist is vetted by Radio 1 controller Jeff Smith every Friday.
Other Radio 1 DJs have record labels or interests in labels – Steve Lamaq has been involved with Deceptive, Gilles Peterson with Talkin’ Loud – but Tong‘s position as one of the major voices on the dance scene has singled him out for scrutiny.
Payola or keeping in touch with the scene? Should Tong be banned from playing records on his own label? Should Zoe Ball be banned from playing records by Fatboy Slim? Or should she just be banned? Tell us what you think. Post a message on Angst