Sunday, May 17, 2009

The silencing of the Lamb

George Lamb has broken the 6Music messageboards. Or ten people talking about him have:

Bob Shennan; Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 music has an announcement about the future of the board which i'm posting here.

"I'm sorry but today we've had to suspend the 6 Music "Feedback" topic on the 6 Music message boards.

It has become apparent that the topic, especially the thread devoted to the George Lamb show, needs full time dedicated hosting (as per BBC guidance here: ).

We had hoped that the board could continue to stay open whilst we sought to find an appropriate host which is why Jane has been hosting on a part time basis for the last 6 weeks.

Unfortunately this has not proved possible. Regulars to the board will know that it is a highly volatile forum and tensions often run particularly high. This is especially so around the George Lamb thread, moderation decisions and discussions relating to BBC staff.

Dealing responsibly with the activity provoked by a board where 10 regular users have been responsible for nearly 7000 posts concerning one programme just isn't the best use of BBC resources at the moment. This is regrettable given that we have also received articulate and welcome feedback about the station on these forums from many users. Thank you for that.

However, the board's posts will all be archived and still available to view and the topics devoted to Marc Riley, Bruce Dickinson, and Gideon Coe will continue to remain open.

I also want to reiterate that this is a temporary suspension of the board and that once we have found an appropriate host we will look again at how best to develop constructive dialogue about the future of the network.

Bob Shennan
Controller, BBC Radio 2 & 6 Music

Could this be, in any way, connected with the piece in the recent Private Eye:
Last week the BBC confirmed that Barry Lally, one of morning show presenter George Lamb's on-air sidekicks, had been repeatedly posting messages of praise for Lamb and his show on the station's messageboard while posing as an ordinary listener behind the nickname "U-Bend".

Lamb - a presenter so actively disliked that 4,961 radio fans have signed a petition to "Get Lamb Out" of the station, while his own on-air appeals to listeners to commit to "Keep Lamb On" resulted in only 2,186 signatures - was doggedly championed by U-Bend. When asked by other messageboard users, "U-Bend" flatly denied he had ever appeared on the show.

Although posing as a member of the public is a strict no-no under BBC editorial guidelines, at least it now makes it a little clearer where they're finding all these people who love the George Lamb show. They're coming from the George Lamb show.

You might wonder if Bob Shennan has closed down the right part of his empire.


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