‘Axed by mistake’ 

12 October 2010 tbs.pm/1216

Here’s a story and a half. Back in 2006 Mark Damazer, then controller of BBC Radio 4, axed the piece of music that had heralded the start of the broadcasting day for over 30 years – the Radio 4 UK Theme – replacing it with a news bulletin.

The excuse was that only a few hundred people ever tuned in so why not try and make the slot do more?

BBC Radio 4 logo Four and a half years on and it’s been revealed that Damazer, who left the station in September this year, actually misread the figures, according to the Guardian.

It turns out that the average weekly reach was actually significantly more – 800,000 listeners.

It would make a great tale at this point if I was to say that the slot has actually decreased its audience since the decision was made, however unfortunately that isn’t the case. An extra 100,000 people now tune in at that time according to audience figures from spring this year, and Damazer has no regrets on making the decision. Theme addicts will still have to visit the BBC Radio 4 website for their daily fix.

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