17:09 09 December 2013
The BBC website has announced its plan to dedicate a whole day of programming for Gary Barlow – a move which has been sharply criticised by some as overly promoting a singular act.
On the BBC website, it said: "This is no ordinary performance - throughout the day, you can listen, watch and interact with a bona fide national treasure - before seeing him perform in concert.”
The event, which is scheduled on December 11, coincides with the release of the singer’s solo album Since I Saw You Last.
Based on the original plan, Barlow will be interviewed three times on three different radio programs, while audiences will also be treated to a live broadcast of a Barlow concert and a live Q&A session on the BBC website.
The BBC’s plan met objections from commercial radio stations that expressed concern about their advertising revenue. Matt Payton, a spokesman of RadioCentre said that BBC had “over-stepped its remit by giving such blanket coverage to a single artist.”
He added: "If you look at the scale and the reach of the BBC, if it starts to offer things akin to free advertising, that potentially has an impact on our revenue.”
A BBC spokesman explained saying: "It is not unusual for an artist of Gary Barlow’s stature and broad appeal to appear on a range of programmes that reach different audiences, and is entirely in keeping with our guidelines."
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