Presenter ‘astonished’ at BBC decision to get rid of only Welsh language cultural radio show
The presenter of the only Welsh language cultural show on BBC Radio Cymru has said that she was “astonished” at the decision to replace it.
Stiwdio presented by Nia Roberts billed itself as providing a “look at the arts in Wales and beyond”.
It was announced last month that the late shows presented by Nia Roberts, as well as Geraint Lloyd and Geth a Ger would all disappear from the station in October.
Caryl Parry Jones will now present a show every Monday to Thursday between 9pm and midnight.
Nia Roberts said that she was “astonished at BBC Wales for getting rid of the only cultural programme in the Welsh language”.
“I’m disappointed that 30 years of service to BBC Radio Cymru have come to an end on such a note,” she said. “Thanks for the opportunity and thanks for listening.”
The decision to revamp the late schedule was already controversial with a petition launched to save the show presented by Geraint Lloyd.
The decision to cancel Stwidio elicited an angry response online, with actor John Pierce Jones describing it as a “terrible” decision.
“What is wrong with the leaders of our media culture?” he asked. “This is crazy. Nia is one of our best broadcasters, extremely intelligent and an unparalleled talent. But on top of all this the listeners like her. Broadcasting in Welsh is on its deathbed.”
In a joint letter to Dafydd Meredydd, Editor of BBC Radio Cymru, the owners and managers of 14 independent bookshops in Wales have called on him to reconsider the decision.
“It is the greatest disappointment to learn that Radio Cymru wants to remove the only programme, Stiwdio, which is dedicated to discussing the arts in Wales,” they said.
“This is a program that is an integral part of Welsh culture, and as booksellers, we believe that by removing the programme, which includes Y Silff Lyfrau, you are removing an all-important discussion forum for authors, publishers, booksellers and Welsh readers.
“The program has also played an important role in the development of new writers, and nurturing and promoting their work.
“The program plays a very important role in discussing literary awards such as the Book of the Year, and the Tir na n-Og Awards, and we regret that the fashion decision has been made to remove them.
“When developing and expanding to reach new listeners, it is key to strike a balance and keep some offer that appeals to the traditional audience that has been loyal to Radio Cymru over the years.
“We ask you to reconsider your decision, and go ahead and continue, and further develop the artistic offering on Radio Cymru.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.