"Reggae Britannia: BBC4, 9pm – The digital channel's ...Britannia strand on the history of different musical genres returned for a new series with 415,000 viewers and a 1.8% share.
Competition at 9pm in multichannel included Film4's movie repeat Run, Fatboy, Run (514,000/2.4%), BBC3's Little Britain repeat (318,000/1.3%), another outing for Braveheart on More4 (465,000/2.7%), a repeat of A Touch of Frost on ITV3 (685,000/3.3%), Five USA's CSI: Miami repeat (332,000/1.4%) and American Idol on ITV2 (400,000/1.7%)"
Quoted figures taken from The Guardian national newspaper.
It is heartening to see that this audience share is comparable with other popular programmes on the Freeview channels. Reggae is still a "niche" music in Britain and the more radical bands of the genre are still only enjoyed by a minority, so to gain this kind of percentage share is very significant.
The programme offered an excellent overview of what Black British reggae artists had achieved since the sixties and what their consequent influence had been on white British musicians. Reggae Britannia’s producer and director Jeremy Marre managed the difficult job of tellingl two stories at once- effectively explaining the roots of the music itself, while also dealing with the thornier questions about identity, race and racism in Britain over the past four decades. As the narrator explained, the history of British reggae holds a mirror to British society, as attitudes to the music mutated over time from rejection to acceptance and, finally, assimilation.
Once again David Cameron is proved wrong. Multiculturalism is here to stay. The British population live it on a day to day basis. What's more it is working, maybe not perfectly, but programmes like this show that great strides have been made to breakdown negative racial stereotypes. Reggae is now the music of the people- black or white. Only the Tory elite seem to differ with that opinion.
Last Saturday's performance at "Reggae Britannia" was a highlight of my week. It is not every day that what happens between performers and audience so clearly undermines the keynote speech of a British Prime Minister. But it happened last Saturday during a three hour performance at the Barbican in London. , On 5th March 2011 David Cameron pompously declared "multiculturalism dead", on the very day that he knew the reviled racist English Defence League was marching in Luton. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He would have found quite the opposite if he had bought himself a ticket to come to the Reggae Britannia celebration. A cross section of society listened in rapt awe as artists such as Dave Barker, Big Youth, Ken Boothe, Ali Campbell, Brinsley Forde & Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson, plus me and my good friend Neville Staple played a diverse set culled from the very best of our careers. This cross over reggae music has been 40 or more years in the making and any fool can see that celebrating our unity as well as our differences is the way forward. Well everybody except the cronies who rule the country and support racist bully-boys!
Pauline Black's Blog
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