If today's reports that the BBC Asian Network is closing down are true, then how am I going to get out of bed on a Saturday morning?Sweetie, if you need a niche radio station paid for by everyone else in order to do that, you've got far more problems than you think...
Listening to Love Bollywood with Raj and Pablo from 9am to noon is my weekend ritual. It's the only place where I can get my fix of movie star gossip. I can't afford to buy digital TV channels or Indian magazines and, anyway, by the time Filmfare arrives at my local supplier near Brick Lane it's usually out of date.Lots of people can't afford to buy things they want. They don't have the cheek to demand that other people pay for them on pain of imprisonment, though.
Well, not until they get into Parliament, anyway...
Earlier this month the Guardian reported BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thompson's views on why the Asian Network needs to be evaluated. "It broadcasts in a number of different languages to an audience that varies from younger to older listeners," she said, describing this as a "difficulty". I think this should be celebrated as a triumph...You would, wouldn't you?
...how am I going to learn about Asian life? We are sadly not yet living in a time where minority voices, Asian and non-Asian alike, are completely assimilated into the mainstream media.And if we maintain niche radio stations broadcasting in foreign languages, they never will be.
You clearly didn't think this through, did you?
I can't even turn to the commercial Asian radio stations any more to hear what's happening in Asian news, sport and entertainment, because last year saw the closure of Club Asia and Zee radio.And why?
Because there's no demand. Either because it's too niche, or because, as Ross points out, with the BBC providing it for free, commercial stations are crowded out.
We'll find out which, no doubt, when the Beeb stops wasting licence payer money on this sort of thing.