Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Thatcher death song row hits BBC

The BBC must decide whether to play Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Baroness Thatcher's tempestuous relationship with the BBC looks set to continue after her death as the corporation found itself in the middle of a row over whether to play the Wizard Of Oz track which celebrates her demise.

An online campaign has driven sales of Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead and the latest placings released by the Official Charts Company show it had sold 20,000 copies and was at number four on Wednesday night.

The late former prime minister divided opinion and while many have mourned, some have seen her death as a cause for celebration, prompting a download surge for the song.

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said the song should not be played.

He told the Daily Mail: "This is an attempt to manipulate the charts by people trying to make a political point.

"Most people find that offensive and deeply insensitive, and for that reason it would be better if the BBC did not play it."

But another Tory member of the select committee, Philip Davies, said the song should be played.

He described the campaign as "pathetic", but added: "It's not for the BBC to define on what basis something is in the the charts."

The decision whether to play the song or not poses a problem for the new BBC boss, Tony Hall, who started work in the top job last week.

The BBC has in the past refused to play hit songs if they were regarded as offensive.

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