Watch: Protests held in Aberystwyth and Crymych against decision to axe BBC Radio Cymru programme
Public protests have been held in the west of Wales today against changes to the Radio Cymru schedules.
Around 60 people took part in the protest in Aberystwyth, and there was a separate protest in Crymych, to voice unhappiness with the decision to get rid of Geraint Lloyd’s programme.
There is also discontent at a decision to axe the broadcaster’s only Welsh language culture show, Stiwdio.
It was announced last month that Caryl Parry Jones will be the new presenter of Geraint Lloyd’s slot. He had presented the late slot for ten years and been at the station for a quarter of a century.
Mae protestiadau wedi eu cynnal yn Aberystwyth a Chrymych ddydd Sadwrn i wrthwynebu penderfyniad i ddod â’r rhaglen i ben 📻
Mae BBC Radio Cymru yn dweud bod yn rhaid iddyn nhw sicrhau “gwerth am arian”.
— Newyddion S4C (@NewyddionS4C) September 24, 2022
Megan Jones Roberts, one of the organisers of the protest in Aberystwyth, said that Geraint Lloyd represented the voice of the “common people”.
“This is a decision made without any kind of discussion or consultation with the presenters or the production teams,” she and fellow organiser Anna Ap Robert said.
“The decision of a handful of people at the BBC in Cardiff and not the decision of the people, the hundreds who listen all over the country.
“Such is the opposition now that there is going to be a public protest to show the dissatisfaction with this foolish and unfair decision by the BBC. We call on the editor of Radio Cymru to come forward and give answers to the listeners.”
A spokesperson for BBC Radio Cymru told S4C Newyddion that rural life “is already reflected on programs such as Troi’r Tir, Bore Cothi, Ifan Evans, Galwad Cynnar and the daily Agricultural Bulletin”.
“We will continue to discuss issues that affect the countryside on our news programs as well as exploring every opportunity to expand this provision on a range of programs in the future,” they added.
“We are also consulting with representatives from the Young Farmers’ Clubs to discuss how we can produce content that reflects the movement to a worthy audience in the peak hours of the service and there are plans to continue broadcasting the highlights of the Eisteddfod of the Young Farmers in November as usual.”
Last month, 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.”
After hearing that his show had been cancelled, Geraint Lloyd said that he had not been in any further discussions with Radio Cymru about staying on.
“I’m still disappointed, after being with Radio Cymru for so long,” he said. “It’s not my choice.
“It’s up to them, unfortunately.”
He said that he did not know anything about the petition before coming across it while browsing Facebook.
“It’s very nice that people think so much of the programme,” he told Golwg360. “It was a bit of a surprise!
“I was disappointed that the program was ending but it’s clear that people appreciate what I do.”
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