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Saturday, 15 September 2018

BBC slaps down DJ Cerys Matthews over her BAN on public school-educated bands from Radio 6 show that sparked MPs calling for her to quit

  • BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Cerys Matthews refuses to play songs by privileged stars
  • Claimed public school attendees had leg-ups that need to be accounted for
  • Aims to feature more females and people from working-class backgrounds
The BBC has slapped down DJ Cerys Matthews after she suggested public school-educated artists would be filtered out of her Radio 6 show.
Mrs Matthews said she would take into consideration that people educated at public school had had 'so many leg-ups' in life, and 'act on it'.
Conservative MPs slammed her comments, accusing her of 'class warfare' and being 'overtly political' with her radio show. One said she should resign from the BBC. 
The DJ said: 'You have to try and listen to everything and take into consideration where one person has had more of a leg-up than somebody else, and act on it – that’s what I think.
'When I programme my radio show, I don’t only want to play Anglo-American music.
'Because the bigger the pool of music and artists, the better the quality – not tokenism, but you must take into account who’s had the leg ups. Because if you’ve been through the public school system, you’ve had so many leg ups.'  
Today the BBC said: 'No artists are banned from Radio 6 Music and at no point did Cerys suggest that any were banned from her show.' 
Mrs Matthews herself took to Twitter to claim she had been misrepresented, and hadn't banned anyone.
BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Cerys Matthews, pictured in 2015, has said that she refuses to play records by pop stars she considers over-privileged because they've had more of a leg-up in life
BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Cerys Matthews, pictured in 2015, has said that she refuses to play records by pop stars she considers over-privileged because they've had more of a leg-up in life
Florence Welch also went to a private school
As did James Blunt
Florence Welch (left) and James Blunt (right) also went to private schoolsShe had said in an interview: 'I think with the way the world is right now, we ought to be able to listen to music in all different languages and cultures and simply play great music.
'Because the bigger the pool of music and artists, the better the quality – not tokenism, but you must take into account who’s had the leg ups. Because if you’ve been through the public school system, you’ve had so many leg ups. 
'I think it should be more females but also more people from working class backgrounds, and more people from all walks of life. Simply – that’s the ideal, that’s progress for me.' 
That rules out the likes of Coldplay, whose lead singer, Chris Martin, went to Sherborne, Radiohead (Abingdon) and the Clash's Joe Strummer (City of London Freemen's School).
Tory MP Philip Davies attacked the idea and called on Cerys Matthews to resign from the BBC.

Mumford & Sons, Lily Allen and Florence and the Machine are just some of the acts who could be affected

  • Two members of British ­folk-rock band Mumford & Sons attended the £5,560-a-term King's College School in Wimbledon, south west London
  • Florence Welch attended Alleyn's School in south London 
  • James Hillier Blount - also known as James Blunt - went to both Elstree School in Berkshire and the Harrow School in London
  • Lily Allen went to Bedales School in Hampshire
  • The original members of Genesis were all boarders at Charterhouse School in Surrey
  • Pink Floyd's guitarist David Gilmour went to the Perse School in Cambridge and drummer Nick Mason went to Frensham Heights in Surrey
  • He told MailOnline: 'If she feels so strongly about the people from over-privileged backgrounds I'm not entirely sure why she works at the BBC, which is full of people who come from over-privileged backgrounds.
'If she doesn't want to be accused of being a hypocrite she might want to resign from her role at the BBC.
'For goodness sake, the director general of the BBC is Lord Hall. To be perfectly honest the radio stations should be based on the best music not used as an avenue for fighting class warfare.
'If there was a pop chart for bad ideas this would go straight to the top.' 
Nigel Evans, the Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, agreed that Mrs Matthews' policy was a form of class warfare.
He said: '[The BBC] is paid for by the licence fee and for her to be overtly political is clearly absurd. For her to take a stand on a form of education, it's discrimination is what she will be practicing.
'I hope that she jumps her policy quickly  or the BBC should jump her. It's actually almost a hate issue that she's involved in here, she clearly despises people who have been publicly educated.
'Quite frankly for the listeners they don't care if they're publicly educated, all they care about is the music and that's all she should care about.' 
MP Henry Smith added: 'I think people should be judged on their talents and temperament, not the background of where their parents may have sent them to school.
'Some sort of synthetic class war shouldn't be allowed to stifle British creativity which is world leading.' 
Cerys is the former singer of Britpop band Catatonia. She joined the BBC in 2008. 
The DJ, who went to Ysgol Bro Gwaun, a comprehensive secondary in Fishguard, North Pembrokeshire, said she wanted 'more people from all walks of life' to feature on her show in the future.
Her comments have been criticised online by outraged Twitter users.
But Mrs Matthews has now taken to Twitter to claim she had been misrepresented, and said she hadn't banned anyone
But Mrs Matthews has now taken to Twitter to claim she had been misrepresented, and said she hadn't banned anyone
She said: ‘You must take into account who’s had the leg-ups. Because if you’ve been through the public school system, you’ve had so many leg-ups.' Pictured: Radiohead
She said: 'You must take into account who's had the leg-ups. Because if you've been through the public school system, you've had so many leg-ups.' Pictured: Radiohead
So that rules out the likes of Coldplay, whose lead singer, Chris Martin (pictured), went to Sherborne, Radiohead (Abingdon) and the Clash’s Joe Strummer (City of London Freemen’s School)
So that rules out the likes of Coldplay, whose lead singer, Chris Martin (pictured), went to Sherborne, Radiohead (Abingdon) and the Clash's Joe Strummer (City of London Freemen's School)
One individual wrote: '#BBC Radio 6 Music DJ?? #CerysMatthews has made the astonishing disclosure that she refuses to play records by pop stars she considers over-privileged. 
'So being a talented musician doesn't matter, sack the dozy luvvie cow.'  
Another added: 'Oh ok. I lived in a council house, went to a comp and got CSE science grade 2. I've been trying to learn the ukulele and can play three cords, can I come on 6 music ?'
One said: 'Pathetic class-warism. What's the correlation between going to private schools and making it in the music business? Is there any? If you cared about equality, it would make more sense to ban records by good-looking artists.' 
A survey from 2010 by The Word magazine found that at least 60 per cent of chart pop artists went to private schools, but 20 years before this figure was just one per cent. 
At the time, the magazine's editor Mark Ellen said: 'Once upon a time, the rich weren't interested in the popular arts. If they dabbled in the performing arts at all, it would be within the highbrow ghettos: opera, ballet, classical theatre.
'In the past ten years, the well-heeled young have decided it would be a jolly hoot to annex popular culture en masse.' 
Cerys Matthews' comments have been criticised online by outraged Twitter users
Cerys Matthews' comments have been criticised online by outraged Twitter users

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