Entertainment, Music

Steve Barker: the 'anti-John Peel' sidelined by the BBC after 43 years

The 72-year-old DJ has been beaming leftfield music – plus interviews with Bono, Morrissey and more – into Lancashire since 1977, but drastic local radio cuts have ‘left us to drown’

Not many people casually call themselves “Zelig-like”. But then not many people can say they were at Bob Dylan’s “Judas!” Manchester Free Trade Hall show as well as the Sex Pistols’ second ever gig, and that they gave A Guy Called Gerald’s acid house classic Voodoo Ray its first radio play.

This is Steve Barker, the 72-year-old host of On the Wire on BBC Radio Lancashire, which has been taken off air after 36 years and 1,850 episodes amid devastating cuts to local radio UK-wide. When the Covid-19 lockdown began, BBC local TV and radio stations were reduced to skeleton staff, but earlier this month it was announced that the new structures would be permanent, with the loss of at least 450 jobs and a major reduction in specialist and current affairs coverage.

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Steve Barker: the 'anti-John Peel' sidelined by the BBC after 43 years

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