Classic Gold have just suspended Tony Blackburn for “violating station policy” by repeatedly playing Cliff Richard tracks. Head of Programmes Paul Baker wrote in an email to Blackburn:
“As I said on Monday, we might carry out research on him, but for now we have a policy decision that he doesn’t match our brand values, he’s not on the playlist, and you must stop playing him.”
Although BB is not a huge fan of either Blackburn or Richard, we can understand their point here. Speaking for ourselves, we never let a disc even pass over the waiting tray of our hifi without first running it by the focus group and checking that it aligns with our brand values (“Is this a load of hoary old prog rock rubbish? Great, put it on!”). “Musical appreciation” was just some boring concept mentioned in a school lesson that we ignored once. Cliff is a well-known Christian and a virgin, whereas Paul Baker and Classic Gold are clearly corporate suckers of Satan’s scaly cock (cf. Bill Hicks). It’s like having bacon butties at a barmitzvah.
“We don’t play any Shakin’ Stevens either,” said Managing director John Baish in a blatent attempt to claw back listeners.
Update, 2004-06-24: Blackburn is back and Cliff will now be played “as much as the Beatles, and we play the Beatles quite often” (…adds John Baish helpfully). It’s a stunt, and a pretty cupid one - how else did the full text of the station’s internal emails get into the original report? You might think this would be cause for us to retract our statements above, but we feel it further underlines that Classic Gold’s managers remain Beelzebub’s fellatio handmaidens. Unfortunately, in this case we also got a taste of that wormy jism. Remember: for an endless diet of bland MOR to nullify the empty void of your daily existence, tune in to Classic Gold (or, if you don’t have digital, Radio 2).