Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Mark Lamarr to leave BBC Radio 2

Mark Lamarr has announced he is quitting Radio 2

Mark Lamarr has announced he is quitting Radio 2, accusing the station of becoming "much less interested in non-mainstream music".

The comic and DJ's regular Friday night shows and his series about rock 'n' roll, called Shake, Rattle and Roll, will both end later this month.

In an email published on the website of fellow DJ Bob Harris, Lamarr wrote: "It's become obvious over the last year the station has become much less interested in non- mainstream music, and my position there has been extremely uncomfortable.

"It's a sign of the times I suppose. I'm stupidly proud of the shows I've done there for 12 years and I know I always did the right thing. I'm equally sure I'm doing the right thing now."

Station controller Bob Shennan said Lamarr, whose shows run from 11pm to midnight and from midnight to 3am, had asked for an earlier slot in the schedule and been refused.

He said: "Radio 2's music offer has never been stronger, more diverse or more popular. Next year we have plans to broaden it still further with more genres and new presenters. It is a unique and distinctive station. I'm sorry Mark is leaving at Christmas. He wanted an earlier slot and decided that he would leave when that request was not granted. We wish him well and the door is never closed."

Phill Jupitus, who worked as a DJ on BBC Radio 6 and appeared regularly with Lamarr on the music quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, said: "With the loss of Charlie Gillet and John Peel this leaves BBC music radio's commitment to fringe artists in a poorer state. But as someone who left the BBC for similar reasons I can understand."

A BBC spokeswoman said the station was "sorry to see him go" and said his shows would be replaced "with equally distinctive content".