Black Radio icon - Dotun - driven out by BBC London ?


Britain’s Dotun Adebayo has covered every major story concerning Britain’s Black communities for the past 28 years. Either on his national platform Radio 5 Live or on BBC London. But Dotun is more than just a story teller.  One of Dotun’s driving forces has been to showcase up and coming Black  artists, writers, sportsmen and women, politicians and activists such as myself.

Many careers would not be where they are today, if it hadn’t been for Dotun making the first step in recognising theirtalent. But equally he’s no pushover either. You go on his programme, you expect to be thoroughly challenged. As far as Adebayo is concerned if you’re not up to it then you shouldn’t be there.

But now without any consultation it appears that BBC London want to get rid of Britain’s most senior, and one of its most revered radio presenters. Why? Perhaps Editor of BBC London David Robey could tell us? We know it’s certainly not for his listening figures which reach over 2 million listeners combined with BBC 5 live.

This arbitrary axing of this most brilliant presenter is deeply troubling, and delving more into it has  uncovered  some extremely uncomfortable truths. For example, the BBC were reeling some months ago about the Corporation's gender pay- gap; white men being paid double or treble what their female counterparts were being paid, and yet one of Black Britons best radio presenters has not had a rise for 20 years. Yep, 20 years!

The  BBC London running rough shod over Dotun is not just an attack on him but also on all of us. Equally how many other Black BBC London staff have had stagnated wages, and or be told they are no longer required, without any push back?

If this treatment was dished out to a senior white presenter it would be front page news, particularly now. But if your Black, well that’s another story. Or is it?

By vociferously  defending Dotun Adebayo, someone we respect and care about, we are also protecting wider Black and minority ethnic staff at BBC London. If we allow Dotun to be treated so shabbily then no Black person at BBC London  is safe.

I suggest to you write or tweet to David Robey @BBCRadioLondon Demanding he treat Dotun and all BME staff with the respect he and they  deserve.

And on this we’re not begging, or even asking.  As license payers to this very public institution, we demand respect!

Simon Woolley