Anger as BBC decides to axe another Scots music show

Mary Ann Kennedy's show is set to be axed
Mary Ann Kennedy's show is set to be axed
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BBC Radio Scotland is facing growing criticism after confirming it is cancelling another of its popular music programmes.

With anger still mounting over the axeing of Janice Forsyth’s Saturday morning show from the schedules, long-time presenter Mary Ann Kennedy has been told her Global Gathering show is also being taken off-air.

The two-hour showcase for world and traditional music is being removed to make way for a classical music programme.

The show, which was previously called Celtic Connections, has been on the air in various guises for more than 20 years.

It has provided a major platform for folk, roots and world music acts from Scotland, including Martyn Bennett, Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, Admiral Fallow, Treacherous Orchestra and Rachel Sermanni.

The news that the Tuesday night show will be replaced at the beginning of April has dismayed fans and musicians alike, many of whom took to Twitter to voice their disapproval.

Singer Maeve Mackinnon, one of four young musicians to appear on the show with specially-commissioned work recently, said: “BBC Radio Scotland intend to axe the Global Gathering next month. Voice your opposition folks.”

One blogger, Kate Higgins, said: “No show has done more to promote folk, roots and world music with a distinctly Scottish wrap than this programme. The best thing about it is the certain knowledge you will discover something new, something you’ve never heard before.”

Ian Green, founder of Greentrax Records, said: “I honestly feel that some of the people at the top of BBC Scotland have not got a bloody clue about Scottish culture. This decision is absolutely ridiculous.”

Ms Kennedy, a successful singer and record producer, as well as veteran broadcaster, said she had been told the news of the show’s cancellation at the end of last month. She declined to comment further on the BBC’s decision but said: “It’s a privilege to present a show that sits at the crossroads of Scotland’s inspiring musical creativity and cultural diversity at a time when Scots musicians command respect and admiration from right across the spectrum of global roots music.”

A Radio Scotland spokeswoman said: “Global Gathering will be replaced by a new revamped Classics Unwrapped programme – encouraging listeners to both play and listen – bringing the world of classical music in Scotland to a new audience.

“BBC Radio Scotland features a wide range of Scottish and international music – including folk, traditional, and global music – elsewhere in its schedule. The station will continue to offer distinctive music across its evening schedule and is committed to promoting new music and Scottish artists within these programmes.”