Anger as popular BBC Radio Devon presenter Sparksy gets the graveyard slot
ANGRY listeners have condemned BBC spending cuts that have pushed city radio legend Gordon Sparks onto the “graveyard slot”.
For years, Plymouth people have woken to Sparksy’s much-loved breakfast show on BBC Radio Devon.
But the popular broadcaster’s ‘Good Morning Plymouth’ programme has been axed, leaving fuming fans to bemoan the county-spanning replacement.
Long-serving Sparksy is still on the airwaves – but in an earlier and shorter slot following the scheduling shake-up.
From Monday to Friday,
Come and enjoy our special menu at £12 per person for 3 course-meal.
Not in conjunction with any other offers.
From Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner.
Subject to availability.
Contact: 01752 424381
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
Good Morning Plymouth was a weekday staple on the station, offering news, interviews and chat from the city between 6am-9am.
As well as being the voice of his beloved Plymouth Argyle on BBC Radio Devon, everyone from politicians and business leaders to remarkable city residents were featured on Sparksy’s morning show.
It is one of four outside breakfast shows operated by the BBC to be axed as part of spending cuts.
The Herald revealed last October how the programme was under threat, as the corporation bids to shed 2,000 jobs and shave 20 per cent from its budget over the next five years. The cuts were announced as part of its ‘Delivering Quality First’ project.
For Plymouth listeners, BBC Radio Devon’s new weekday schedule, now in its second week, sees Sparksy present the new Gordon Sparks Early Breakfast Show from 5am-6.30am. That is now followed by Good Morning Devon, which runs from 6.30am-9am. Several dismayed listeners have contacted The Herald about the changes. Sandra Cole, from Woolwell, said she would no longer be tuning in after Sparksy went off air – and has complained to BBC South West head Leo Devine.
“I really cannot understand this,” she said. “I for one thoroughly enjoyed his show, which always put a smile on my face before heading to work.”
D Bate, from Peverell, added: “Once again we, the licence payers, have been ignored with Gordon Sparks’ Plymouth breakfast show being done away with and instead being replaced by a county-wide early morning graveyard slot.”
But a BBC spokeswoman insisted: “We will continue to offer dedicated coverage of Plymouth.”
She added: “Listeners will hear more of Gordon presenting the early breakfast show and he will continue to be a pivotal part of the breakfast programme – out and about in the city of Plymouth reporting on the big story of the day. This will better serve the needs of listeners in the county who want to hear news from across the whole region and for Plymouth listeners who will feel in touch with the rest of Devon.”
Sparksy himself declined to comment.
But Plymouth Moor View MP Alison Seabeck, who campaigned against the cuts last year, described the move as “hugely disappointing” for Plymouth.