News Column

BBC Won't Play 'Ding Dong' Song

April 12, 2013

A song associated with an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign will not be played on the BBC's weekly music countdown show, the broadcaster said Friday, despite having raced to nearly the top of the chart.

Sales of "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" soared after the former British prime minister died on Monday, and is set to reach number three during Sunday's official countdown, the Official Charts Company said.

Originally performed by Judy Garland in the 1939 film the Wizard of Oz, the song is now being used by some to celebrate the death of one of the country's most divisive figures.

The head of BBC Radio 1, Ben Cooper, said that a 51-second clip of the song would be played instead as part of a news item.

"It is a compromise and it is a difficult compromise to come to," he said. "You have very difficult and emotional arguments on both sides of the fence. Let's not forget you also have a family that is grieving for a loved one who is yet to be buried."

Newly installed BBC Director General Tony Hall has called the anti-Thatcher campaign "tasteless" while one of his predecessors, Greg Dyke, argued that it should be played in full since it reflects the reality of what the public are buying.

Thatcher's funeral is to take place on Wednesday, with US President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton among the global leaders invited to attend.

The queen, South Africa's last Apartheid president FW de Klerk and composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber are among those who have already confirmed their attendance.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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