After 72 years, the Caribbean Service says goodbye
It’s been a momentous and for some people heartbreaking few weeks as the Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa and Serbian languages as well as the English for the Caribbean regional service made their final broadcasts.
They have gone as part of the World Service’s plans to meet the 16 percent savings target required by the UK Government’s Spending Review.
A discussion on the BBC Caribbean Service between presenter John Arlott and author C.L.R. James, taken in 1964.
The Caribbean service has along and distinguished history dating back to the start of the Second World War.
To say goodbye to this much loved institution I met its head Debbie Ransome.
Debbie joined the World Service in London in 1991, joining from Radio Trinidad – she brought with her some of her favourite moments, and I asked her what she feels has been the Caribbean services biggest contribution.
The Caribbean was one of five language services, which have said their final goodbyes. We also spoke to the heads of the other four the Macedonian service; the Serbia service; the Albanian service and the Portuguese in Africa Service.
It’s another closure which is still dominating our postbag – listeners’ reactions in Europe to the ending of the 648 Medium Wave service demonstrate the extent to which the service has been a part of their lives.
Listeners are also exploring other ways to receive the World Service in place of Medium Wave including internet radio and satellite reception.
We at Over To You are not immune to the cuts and from next week we will be shorter, at just under ten minutes, but we will still be packing just as powerful a punch, we hope.
And that depends on you telling us what you think about the World Service, so keep the emails and phone calls coming.
Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.