BBC support song making chart impact

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A song released yesterday in support of the BBC is making an impact on several UK music charts.

Stand-up comic Mitch Benn wrote I'm Proud of the BBC in response to the criticism the licence fee-funded corporation has received from its commercial competitors and the right-wing press. The Conservative-led coalition government announced two weeks ago that the licence fee is to be frozen for six years, and that the BBC will take over responsibility from the Foreign Office for funding the World Service.

Cquote1.svg You also pay for the Fire Brigade, whether or not your house burns down. Public service. Cquote2.svg

—Mitch Benn, 2 Nov 2010

The song, loosely inspired by Billy Joel, lists many of the BBC's achievements. Benn, a regular on BBC Radio 4's satirical programme The Now Show, decided to release I'm Proud of the BBC as a single after realising that it was provoking emotional responses from audiences during his nationwide tour. He told BBC Radio 5 Live that the song was receiving standing ovations, and people were wiping away tears. A video was filmed last month outside of Broadcasting House, White City and Television Centre with a cast of volunteers recruited from the social networking site Twitter.

The song was officially released as a 'download-only' track on Monday. Yesterday's charts reveal that it has reached pole position on Amazon's rock chart, and is listed as the 14th most downloaded track overall. iTunes listed it as the 64th most downloaded song. Fans have created two Facebook groups to promote the single in an attempt to get it to a good position in the UK Singles Chart, which would force the BBC's commercial rivals to play the track.

Benn says that he has always been a supporter of the BBC, and yesterday compared it to the emergency services. "You also pay for the Fire Brigade, whether or not your house burns down. Public service." He points out that he only receives a small percentage of his income from the corporation; last night he played with his band The Distractions at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.


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