The new BBC director general, Tony Hall, appears to have caved in to pressure during the first major test of his tenure, deciding not to play the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead in full on Radio 1 after a furious reaction from Tory MPs and rightwing newspapers.
In a fudge likely to satisfy Lady Thatcher's supporters but criticised by anti-censorship campaigners, the BBC will play a five-second clip of the track – which is being pushed up the charts by anti-Thatcher protesters – in a news item during the Radio 1 Chart Show on Sunday.
The BBC has taken the unprecedented step of deciding to insert a news story into the show to explain to younger viewers [?] why a track from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz has suddenly leapt into the top 10. Radio 1 has a target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds, none of whom will recall Thatcher's premiership first hand.To compound the error, they patronise listeners by assuming that they need to have the song explained.