Tom Watson calls for BBC 6 Music to replace Radio 3 on FM slot

Labour MP calls the station a "huge success story for the BBC"

Politician Tom Watson has urged the BBC to move 6 Music to an FM frequency in the place of Radio 3.

Watson is a self-professed indie music fan, having recommended Drenge to Ed Miliband last year and urged the BBC to promote 6Music, which features DJs including Lauren Laverne and Jarvis Cocker on their roster.

Speaking at the Radio Festival earlier this week in Salford, The Guardian reports Watson said: “It does strike me if the Radio 3 audience continues to diminish and 6 Music continues to grow its audience, the BBC should seriously consider it, they must put it on their agenda.”

“6 Music is a huge success story for the BBC. They tried to close it down and its audience doubled, they now have more listeners digitally than Radio 3 has got on both digital and the FM network.”

Digital station 6 Music recently overtook Radio 3 in terms of listening figures, with 1.89 million listeners compared to the 1.88 million of its FM counterpart.

“I’m a 6 Music fan, I readily admit I’ve got a particular position on it,” the Labour MP added. “I’m not saying close Radio 3, but I’m saying it’s becoming a niche station and niche stations can be provided for digitally and over the net.”

A BBC spokesman responded to Watson’s comments, stating: “We are very proud of both stations and think they are working brilliantly for listeners as they are, so we see no reason to change their broadcast arrangements.”

6 Music average 16.2 million listeners a week to Radio 3’s 10.5 million.