DJ Nihal Criticises ‘All White’ BBC Radio 1 And ‘All Black’ BBC 1Xtra / Questions For Nihal…


Via BBC News

BBC radio DJ Nihal Arthanayake has criticised diversity at Radio 1, claiming “nothing has changed” at the corporation since former director general Greg Dyke called it “hideously white” in 2001.

He welcomed news that DJ Clara Amfo is joining Radio 1’s daytime line-up.

But he said 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, was taking part in a panel on diversity at the Oxford Media Convention when he made his comments.

“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.”

In a statement, the BBC responded:

“Radio 1 and 1Xtra are committed to reflecting the diversity of their young audiences and these sweeping generalisations are untrue.

“Both stations have exceeded the BBC’s diversity targets and we will continue to work hard to build on this progress.”

A few people have rightly pointed out that there are white DJ’s working for 1Xtra (isn’t DJ Charlie Sloth practically the face of 1Xtra?) and a black DJ (Clara Amfo) will be joining Radio 1. So in a sense there is a bit of “diversity” going on within those stations. But where is the diversity over at the BBC Asian Network? Is he also encouraging diversity within his own station?

Over to you Nihal…..

Oh and didn’t BBC Radio 1 axe him last year?


4 replies »

  1. That article reminded me that BBC has never had a dedicated station aimed at African/Caribbean all round issues like BBC Asian network.
    I guess Nihal does not have to label his station if he was talking about diversity of the listeners (only guessing that they don’t have many non-asian listeners). BBC Asian networks labeling means no one can ever mess with their station. BBC 1xtra has always been labeled as “Urban” station so it cannot be directed at a particular colour or geographical culture so they can re brand or put in any old content that has nothing to do with many UK black peoples culture.

    As you said before, we need to support are own stations and leave these “urban” people to their own stations to play their version of music and no chat or educational documentaries.

  2. We really do need to create our on radio network. No point looking to corporations like the BBC to create it. We have seen what happened to 1xtra. When 1Xtra first went on air the tagline had ‘BLACK’ in it. I think they then changed it to URBAN some years later, and so it began….

Follow MAD NEWS UK on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow me on Twitter




March 2015
%d bloggers like this: