Wigan DJ fears chop in BBC budget cuts

Wigan Casino DJ Russ Winstanley with the original record deck used in the 1970s Casino heyday

Wigan Casino DJ Russ Winstanley with the original record deck used in the 1970s Casino heyday

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A Wigan DJ is sweating over the future of his popular radio programme.

Russ Winstanley’s Northern Soul programme, which airs on BBC Radio Lancashire every Saturday evening, looks set to fall victim of the BBC cuts.

It is believed that the specialist shows will be axed following the revelation that the North West’s four regional stations have been told to cut 10 jobs each.

And with Radio Lancashire airing 10 of the specialist shows, including Russ’s Northern Soul evening, station manager John Clayton has hinted that it is these shows which face the chop. In the light of the revelations, Russ says he has had two offers from commercial stations but has wants to stay committed to the BBC.

He said: “I spoke with the boss on Thursday and went through what is happening.

“It’s a great shame that all these DJs with specialist programmes could lose their shows as they bring something great to the station.

“But it is the way it is and I don’t blame the BBC – it’s something they have to do.

“I’ve had two offers this week but turned them down.

“These shows bring people back to the radio stations who perhaps wouldn’t listen so they play a big part.”

For Russ’s show, the internet has played a huge part in its popularity, ensuring it is not a national success.

When the “Listen Again” feature was installed onto BBC Iplayer two and a half years ago, Russ’s show received record figures for a radio show, with people all over the country tuning in to get their dose of northern soul.

Specialist programmes will be replaced by syndicated content under the cuts.