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BBC Launches Music Awards
The BBC has unveiled an ambitious new music strategy which will include an annual award ceremony alongside new programming and digital services. Billed as the BBC’s biggest musical event after Glastonbury, The BBC Music Awards will unite BBC One, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 with a live show presented by Chris Evans and Ferne Cotton.

The announcement immediately drew comparisons with ITV’s Brit Awards, although the similarities have been denied by BBC bosses. Bob Shennan, who is the Controller of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network as well as Director of BBC Music, said the BBC Music Awards is a "totally different concept" from the Brits and is not intended as direct competition for the ITV programme.

"The event will not just be focused on the younger end of the market, but will be for music lovers of all ages who enjoy listening to music from across the BBC, and the performances will reflect that," he added. "The BBC Music awards will surprise audiences with unexpected performances and artist collaborations, hopefully with the BBC Concert Orchestra."

Scheduled for the 11th of December, the live show will use a panel of BBC presenters and producers to determine the best British artist and international artist awards, with viewers and listeners choosing the winning song of the year.

This is the BBC’s strongest commitment to music in 30 years, the new strategy encompasses TV and radio programming, digital services and provisions to support emerging talent including the introduction of classical music to UK primary schools. Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, said: “BBC Music is a celebration of the brilliant musical talent across our country. We’ll be joining up music on television, radio, iPlayer and online like never before. There’ll be new shows, new partnerships, and whole new ways to enjoy music on the BBC.”

BBC TV channels will broadcast a range of new series and documentaries on the history of music and films profiling renowned bands and artists including:

• Genesis: Together and Apart (BBC Two) - reuniting the band members for a feature-length documentary which profiles the rock band.
• The Soundtrack of the Twentieth Century (BBC Two) - capturing the history of pop music over the past 100 years.
• Country Legends: Nashville and Beyond (BBC Four and BBC Radio 2) - season of programmes exploring the history of country music.
• Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South (BBC Two) - three-part series which sees the Georgia-born comic on a road trip through 150 years of American popular song.
• T in the Park, Reading and Leeds festivals (BBC Three).
• Oh You Pretty Things! (BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music) - three-part series examining the relationship between British rock and pop music and fashion.
• York Early Music festival and productions from the Royal Opera House's 2014/15 season (BBC Radio 3).

Shennan said: “From the BBC Proms to Glastonbury, music on the BBC already creates a range of amazing experiences that our audiences love. Under BBC Music and in partnership with the UK music industry, we will set a new benchmark for quality and scale, with bigger events and more world-class programming delivered in new ways.”

Published: 20 June 2014
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