Former BBC Radio Personality Criticizes Radio 1 Lack Of Diversity
March 6, 2015 at 10:20 AM (PT)
BBC radio personality NIHAL has criticized diversity at Radio 1, claiming "nothing has changed" at the corporation since former director general GREG DYKE called it "hideously white" in 2001, according to a report on BBC.COM.
The report came as on-air personality CLARA AMFO joined RADIO 1's daytime line-up.
NIHAN insisted there is "a problem on the eighth floor" of the BBC's BROADCASTING HOUSE where RADIO 1, its sister station 1XTRA and the ASIAN NETWORK are based.
The Radio 1 office, he said, is "all white" while 1XTRA's is "all black".
The former Radio 1 DJ, who now broadcasts on ASIAN NETWORK and 5 LIVE, made the comments as part of a panel on diversity at the OXFORD MEDIA CONVENTION .
"All the ASIANS are sitting in one corner, all the white people are on RADIO 1 and all the black people are on 1XTRA," he said. "That is not diversity, that is silos."
The BBC responded: "RADIO 1 and 1XTRA are committed to reflecting the diversity of their young audiences and these sweeping generalizations are untrue. Both stations have exceeded the BBC's diversity targets and we will continue to work hard to build on this progress."
NIHAL ARTHANAYAKE is currently part of BBC director general TONY HALL's working group to improve diversity at the corporation and praised LORD HALL's tackling of the issue.
Last week, RADIO 1 announced that CLARA AMFO will be the first black woman to host its popular afternoon LIVE LOUNGE slot
During the discussion, NIHAL suggested the issue of diversity was about class and not just about color. "I'm a born optimist and things will get better, they're already getting better," NIHAL said. "But in five years time the BBC should be fully representative of the audience it serves."