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Nihal criticises BBC Radio diversity

By | Published on Thursday 5 March 2015


BBC presenter Nihal criticised behind-the-scenes diversity at BBC Radio during a panel debate at the Oxford Media Convention yesterday. He told the audience that there is “a problem on the eighth floor” of Broadcasting House, where staff on Radio 1, 1Xtra and the Asian Network work.

“All the Asians are sitting in one corner, all the white people are on Radio 1 and all the black people are on 1Xtra,” he said. “That is not diversity, that is silos”.

“I was a Radio 1 DJ for twelve years, one of the most amazing experiences of my life”, he told BBC News later. “Only the BBC would have given me the opportunities I’ve been given. But that’s not to say I can’t criticise the BBC, as others do, for where it can be better. We need to work harder. It’s fourteen years since Greg Dyke made his ‘hideously white’ comments [about the Corporation]. In another fourteen years my seven year old son will have left university, he’ll be 21. I don’t want to be having the same conversation then”.

But he praised Radio 1 for promoting Clara Amfo to daytime, she being the first black woman to have a show on the station’s daytime schedule: “I think it’s amazing that Clara Amfo is going to be in charge of the Live Lounge. She is a fantastic broadcaster who is there purely because of that. It’s such an important thing that has happened, and it’s happened because of merit. [It will] give lots of women of colour the sense that they can do this, that Radio 1 is not a place that’s not for them”.

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