BBC’s Longest-serving Radio Presenter, Aged 92, Let go in a Heartless Decision

A veteran BBC host has strongly criticised the broadcaster for cancelling his radio show on New Year’s Eve.

Bill Rennells, 92, has shared his thoughts after his former bosses made the decision to cancel the Harmony Night call-in programme, which allowed listeners in Berkshire, Kent, and Oxford to request their favourite songs. He described the decision as ‘cruel’.

In an interview with The Sun, the ex-Radio 2 host expressed their dismay over the devastation of Harmony Night, describing it as incredibly heart-wrenching.

Our previous evening was quite moving. It is absurd that they dismantled us when the programme was at its peak of strength and popularity.

Prior to the Beeb’s final decision, which they emphasised was not influenced by budget cuts, Dilys Bound, the creator of the petition, referred to the show as “a lifeline.”

She remarked that life would be significantly more isolated for numerous individuals.

Many people expressed their agreement, describing the decision as deeply saddening and filled with emotion.

The BBC has responded to the backlash by commending Bill for his dedication, effort, and time. However, they maintain that the show’s cancellation was a result of shifting audience preferences.

A representative expressed gratitude for Bill’s dedication and effort in organising Harmony Night and his years of service as a sports reporter and commentator at BBC Radio Oxford.

The budget for BBC Local services remains intact, however, there is a shift in audience preferences and a demand from licence fee payers for greater accessibility to content.

‘We have made significant investments in expanding our coverage of local news, both through digital platforms and on BBC Sounds.’

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Bill began his BBC journey as a news producer at Radio Oxford in 1970, before moving to Radio 2 eight years later. He started off with the Thursday night graveyard slot and also hosted Music From The Movies.

In early 1984, he began hosting the early morning programme, and by the end of the year, he took over the late-night show Nightride, which he continued to host for 14 years until 1993.

He returned to Radio Oxford in 2011.

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