Ding Dong – let battle commence over BBC playing THAT song

Photograph: Everett Collection /Rex
Photograph: Everett Collection /Rex

Well, this is a pickle. Poor old Lord Hall has only been Director General of the BBC for a week or so and he’s already faced with a major issue.

With “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” riding high in the charts following a very successful facebook campaign by anti-Thatcher protesters (it already tops the download charts and was last spotted at number 4 in the charts) what airtime, if any, will the BBC give it and crucially, in what context?

Hall told staff on Thursday that he personally thought the song and the accompanying social media campaign launched following Margaret Thatcher’s death on Monday by people protesting against the former Conservative prime minister’s 1980s policies was “tasteless”, but stressed that the editorial independence of the BBC was sacrosanct.

However, if they wish to remain objective and impartial, the BBC would surely have to play the song as per usual? Never mind the accusations of bad taste etc this could well set a precedent whatever the decision is.

Hall will apparently be “taking the lead” on the decision on whether to play the track on Radio 1’s Official Chart show, a senior BBC insider confirmed to MediaGuardian.

With the departure of his predecessor George Entwistle still ringing in the BBC’s ears post-Saville, Hall will be aware of the need to appear as a strong leader. It will be intriguing to see what call he makes.

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