Mudcat Café message #3422167 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147580   Message #3422167
Posted By: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
18-Oct-12 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
John, from the link above:

>>>>BBC Radio 2 folk DJ Mike Harding hits out at boss after sacking

Veteran presenter to be replaced by Mark Radcliffe after 15 years presenting Folk Show

Mike Harding says controller Bob Shennan only rang him once and that was to sack him. Photograph: Jude Edginton/BBC
BBC Radio 2 presenter Mike Harding, who has been axed as presenter of the station's folk music show after 15 years, has hit out at its controller Bob Shennan, saying the only time he rang him was to sack him.

Harding will be replaced in the new year by another Radio 2 presenter, Mark Radcliffe, his first primetime show on Radio 2 since he switched to 6 Music last year.

"In 15 years I have built the programme from 70,000 listeners to 860,000 listeners. In all that time I have never had a single phone call from Radio 2 to say I was doing a good job even though I instituted things like the Folk Awards with my producer John [Leonard]. I built that show up over the years with a lot of hard work because it is music that is in my blood," Harding said.

"Last Tuesday I got the only phone call I have ever had from Radio 2 from Bob Shennan telling me he was pulling me from the programme. No reason was given beyond that they wanted to make it more 'live'. No other presenter was mentioned."

Harding, who currently pre-records the show, said he could have broadcast it live if requested. He will continue to present the Wednesday evening slot for the rest of the year, with his last show on Boxing Day.

"I will continue to do it with the professionalism that I have always done," said the singer and comedian who had his own show on BBC2.

Harding, who is also known as the "Rochdale Cowboy" after his 1975 chart hit, turns 68 later this month.

He said age should have nothing to do with presenting.

"Folk music spans the generations," he said. "Young people don't care how old I am as long as I know what I'm talking about. I'm a player, I'm a musician. It's my life."

Radcliffe, who currently presents a late-night show on Radio 2 alongside his afternoon 6 Music show, which he co-hosts with Stuart Maconie, said: "I can't say how thrilled and honoured I am to be doing this.

"I am also well aware of how loved and cherished Mike Harding is and it is daunting to be following in his footsteps. He is a friend and someone I respect enormously and I really want to pay tribute to the sterling job he's done on the Folk Show for so long. Thanks Mike, from all of us."

Shennan described Radcliffe as a "firm favourite with Radio 2 listeners [with] unrivalled broadcasting credentials and longstanding passion, knowledge and hands-on experience of folk music".

The Radio 2 and 6 Music controller added: "I'd like to thank Mike Harding, who has spent 15 years at the top of his game, delighting fans with his expertise and rooting out the very best folk music.

"On his watch, folk has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity and Mike has been key in supporting the genre and introducing Radio 2 listeners to a broad range of new artists. We very much hope to work with him again in the future." <<<

It would seem that Mike felt he was felt sacked, perhaps not 'there and then' but he was given just a few weeks to pack up and go, basically..