Long wave radio changed Blur drummer Dave Rowntree’s life. Now he warns the BBC not to switch off the shipping forecast signal until the whole country is digitally connected.
From childhood to his chart-topping days with Blur, long wave radio has played a central role in Dave Rowntree’s life.
Now the drummer has warned that the BBC’s plans to switch-off the crackly signal could disenfranchise millions of radio listeners who still struggle to receive digital transmissions.
The BBC will end AM radio transmissions – including long wave, home of the Shipping Forecast and medium wave – currently still accessed by an estimated 6.5 million listeners each week.
BBC Radio 5 Live’s medium wave frequencies will fall silent by the end of 2027 with a date for ending long wave currently under discussion.
Rowntree, who holds an amateur radio licence and took inspiration from the shipping forecast for Blur’s hit “This Is A Low”, said the signal should not be turned off prematurely.
“Five per cent of the population is still not connected to the digital world. That’s quite a lot of people and it’s not just rural areas.”
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Ydun Ritz (2023-03-06)