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Radio 6 celebrates first 10 years

BBC Radio 6 celebrates the birthday that looked unlikely to come a couple of years ago. The digital station survived the BBC’s plans to axe it, thanks to a wave of support from listeners and broadcasters. It now appears to be going from strength to stength.

The anniversary will be marked by a suitably eclectic concert from the Southbank Centre on March 16. Artists performing will include Public Image Ltd, Laura Marling, Lianne La Havas, Gruff Rhys, Anna Calvi, Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny. If some of the names seem unfamiliar, that is all part of the Radio 6 remit to showcase the obscure and left-field aspects of music.

The Radio 6 presenter Lauren Laverne emphasised that innovation and experimentation was part of the Radio 6 appeal. "There's something to be said for things that aren't commercial, that are about protecting the integrity of the artistic landscape," she said. "Because we don't have to do it to the satisfaction of a sponsor and an advertiser, we have more freedom."

Another presenter, Stuart Maconie, believes the BBC’s plans to axe Radio 6 galvanised the station: "There's nothing like the threat of imminent closure to focus the mind," he said

Bob Shennan, the controller of Radio 6 Music, said: "This has been an incredible first decade for Radio 6 Music. In addition to its recent record listening figures, it has proved itself as a unique and much loved service and a real showcase for the music that encapsulates the alternative spirit."

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