BBC Radio 4 Anthem Signoff Draws Complaints, Defense
March 17, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
BBC RADIO 4 has always ended its broadcast day by playing the British national anthem, "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN," but the DAILY TELEGRAPH reports that the station's "FEEDBACK" program opened the question of whether the practice should continue and received complaints that the anthem is "too loud," "too jingoistic," and prevents listeners from drifting off to sleep.
Complaints registered on the show's message board called the anthem "a lamentable musical travesty" and "dire," although some defended the practice of playing the song as a "much-loved tradition." RADIO 4's DENNIS NOLAN said that the network will continue to play the anthem, calling it an "important" part of RADIO 4's culture and said. "The national anthem is a big cultural symbol and like many of these symbols it is complicated. That is to say it has all sorts of emotional meanings and can be read in lots of different ways. While some will hear it as jingoistic others will hear it is as comforting and encouraging and redolent of tradition and community and all sorts of other things."
RADIO 4 plays the anthem at 1a nightly, after playing the tune "SAILING BY" and airing the shipping news, a practice in place since the station launched in 1967. BBC WORLD SERVICE airs on the station 1-5:20a.