Common sense prevails as English Heritage steps in to save Abbey Road Studios.

February 28, 2010

english heritageAs a footnote to last week’s blog article, “Will Sir Paul McCartney save the Shrine to the Beatles?”, it is pleasing to report that culture has won over crass commercialism, as English Heritage have been given the green light to save Abbey Road Studios for the nation.

After years of typical government bureaucratic procrastination, English Heritage have been allowed to class Abbey Road Studios as a Grade II listed building, thereby protecting it from demolition by the avaricious property developers’ bulldozer, or acquistion by Arabic Sheiks.

In the end a patron of the arts, in the form of Lord Andrew Webber or Sir Paul McCartney was not required. Undoubtedly their intervention in conjunction with a national outcry, fuelled and supported by the media forced the hands of the powerbrokers in Whitehall and Westminster, thereby preventing EMI casting the venerable building aside as if it were no more than an outdated Victorian public toilets!!

Has the time come for the BBC to adopt limited programme sponsorship?

February 26, 2010

BBC

Apparently the BBC is to close two radio stations and scale back its web presence to make £600m in savings, according to a report in the Times newspaper.

According to the broadsheet, BBC Asian Network and 6 Music will be closed under the proposals.

asian-networkThe Times claims the measures are part of a plan, due to be made public next month, to reduce the BBC’s services and focus on quality over quantity.  However there is a counter argument that the output of  BBC Asian Network and 6 Music is very much about quality and fulfills a very relevant function and niche within the BBC’s portfolio of services.

6-musicIs it not the case that the BBC is cutting services, not necessarily because it wants to, but as a public broadcaster feels obliged to? In the current economic climate, the BBC cannot be seen to go cap in hand to the government and taxpayer to increase the licence fee.  The problem with the licence fee is that by definition, it will only ever raise a nominal tariff which cannot possibly sustain a  global broadcasting institution in the twenty first century. (more…)

Will Sir Paul McCartney rescue the Shrine to The Beatles?

February 18, 2010

abbey-roadIt  is almost inconceivable, but just possible, that the EMI Executives will sell Abbey Road Studios to the Arabs to transport brick by brick to Dubai to become a luxury apartment in the desert.

On the surface this seems absurd, but history tells us that similar crimes have been committed to iconic landmarks in the UK, notably London Bridge moving to a new home in the USA and the original Cavern in Matthews St, Liverpool being demolished and tarmac-ed over as a car park. Admittedly these shortsighted acts of vandalism took place in the late 1960s / early 1970s, when we were still immunised by large swathes of our cities being laid waste by the Luftwaffe!! (more…)

Rule Britannia…..Britannia still rules the airwaves, but only just!!

Brit Awards 2010Following the glittering 30th Anniversary Brit Awards, broadcast live on ITV on Tuesday evening, Britain’s position as market leader in the music business may be in peril!

The live performances of British acts such as Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Cheryl Cole and Kasabian were eclipsed by America’s finest – Alicia Keys’ duet with Jay Z and Lady Ga Ga almost stole the show. It was only Robbie Williams’ finale that tilted the balance back in favour of Britannia.

If the musical playing field on either side of The Atlantic Ocean has been levelled, then what is not in dispute is British television’s ability to put on a spectacular TV show. When it comes to entertainment, the good news is that Britannia still rules the waves of the Ocean that divides our two nations. The Brit Awards Ceremony was a colourful and majestic pageant, that took the breath away. (more…)