Joan McAlpine, MSP for the South of Scotland, has called on the BBC to save a radio show which has made the careers of some of Scotland’s best rock and pop acts.
Radio One’s Introducing in Scotland, hosted by Ally Macrae, which has introduced and featured a host of top Scottish acts – including Biffy Clyro – is under threat as a part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First plans announced last week.
BBC bosses are considering replacing the late night Scottish opt out with a UK wide show featuring bands from across the British Isles.
Ms McAlpine, who began her journalistic career as a writer with NME and who is currently a panellist on the STV programme, Scotland’s Greatest Album, said scrapping the show would be a devastating blow to hundreds of young unsigned bands and artists.
She has lodged a motion in The Scottish Parliament calling on the BBC to keep the show and encouraging MSPs to sign a petition to save it. The online petition has gathered nearly 6,000 signatures in less than one week.
Ms McAlpine, a member of the Education and Culture Committee, said:
“I’m pleading with the BBC bosses not to silence the sound of young Scotland. Introducing in Scotland has blazed a trail for our cutting edge bands and solo acts thanks to the enthusiasm of both Ally Macrae and the previous presenter Vic Galloway.
“The judges on Scotland’s Greatest Album had a really tough time choosing 15 acts from each decade between the 1970s and the noughties.
“If future generations are going to enjoy the same success they need a break, and Introducing in Scotland is a great platform. Scotland has always punched above its weight when it comes to great pop music and having a vibrant scene depends on shows like this.
“A popular campaign saved Six Music. Let’s hope the BBC bosses listen to the Scottish public as well.
“Scotland contributes £300m to the BBC license fee and gets only a small proportion back to promote and develop our own talent. The cost of saving “Introducing in Scotland” is miniscule in comparison to the salaries being paid to London executives and presenters. It’s time the BBC paid more attention to Scotland’s integrity as a nation with its own distinct culture – and that includes its unique brand of contemporary music.”
Ronald Gurr, Director at CCW Long Play, industry expert with great experience in the Scottish music business, said:
“This will make it even harder for new artists to build an audience. Every song writer and every new band is a vital element in Scotland’s creative industries. Radio shows such as ‘Introducing in Scotland’ is a vital part of the BBC’s public service remit. Bands from Stornoway, Aberdeen and Dumfries need to be able to showcase on their own back doorstep, without this opportunity we will see less Scottish talent being successful”