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Tim Davie on DAB's 'ambitious target'

Roger Bolton

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Editor's note: Tim Davie was interviewed on today's Feedback, Radio 4's weekly accountability programme - SB.

"The BBC should be ashamed of themselves for running this ad. They are telling their listeners to buy something they know isn't ready for us yet."

That was William Rogers, Chief Executive of the commercial radio station UKRD.

He was talking about the Digital Radio UK Christmas campaign featuring David Mitchell and Arthur Smith, launched this week (November 22) and running until Christmas Eve.

BBC TV and Radio is running its own companion advertisments but some commercial radio stations are holding off.

Mr Rogers isn't finished.

He says it was "fundamentally immoral and dishonest" to run the campaign "knowing that the DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) infrastructure is not good enough and knowing full well that when people buy a DAB radio it may not work when they get it home".

This week on Feedback I talked about these claims with the BBC's head of radio Tim Davie.

Fifteen per cent of listening is currently on DAB radio and that figure rises to nearly 25 per cent for listening on all digital platforms - online etc. Many of us have lots of analogue radios which we have no desire to see become redundant.

The Government"s target date for digital switchover (which means analogue switch-off) is still 2015, though it is now called an "aspiration" by the Coalition, "ambitious" by tactful radio executives, and "impossible" by some others.

Hear what Tim Davie has to say about Britain's digital future:

PS On a personal note it is difficult to talk to the whippet thin Tim Davie without wondering about his obsession with running marathons, and the fact that this year he ran the 48 miles from home to work nonstop for charity.

I really must go to the gym again.

Roger Bolton is presenter of Feedback on BBC Radio 4

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