Woke BBC set to CANCEL racing tips from flagship Radio 4 Today Programme after nearly 50 years in case they encourage gambling - 'SO WEAK!'
Published: 28/01/2023- 19:26
WOKE BBC chiefs are set to cancel the traditional racing selections on Radio 4's flagship Today programme.
Executives at the corporation are believed to feel the 'old fashioned' tips - which have been a key part of the show for 46 years - have no place on modern radio and could encourage gambling.
But the idea has been dismissed as "massively disappointing" by one BBC racing legend, who blasted the broadcaster.
BBC legend John Humphrys loved the racing selections during his long time on the show
Former BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght said: "At a time when racing's media profile has been eroded and racecourse attendances have been falling this is another kick in the teeth for the sport.
"It is massively disappointing news. Any publicity racing can secure is valuable and the Today programme audience is huge.
"Anything related to gambling clearly prompts debate at the moment and rightly so, but the tips are just a bit of fun rather than serious advice to bet and to suggest otherwise would be to misunderstand them."
Michael Dugher, a former Labour MP and Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: "This is so weak and, worse, it is also pure toffee nosed snobbery from the BBC."
The proposed change follows Radio Five's controversial decision several months ago to scrap the full reading of the Classified Football Results on Sports Report every Saturday, which led to uproar from fans and some even boycotting the programme.
An angry Twitter user added: "Just like the classified football results which BBC Radio also dumped, the racing tips were a link to a truly classless and universal national pastime.
"For a few moments each morning it took the listener around the country imagining Musselburgh or Market Rasen, Epsom or York."
While the BBC admits to holding talks about the change it denies a final decision has been made and insists there is no timetable yet in place to scrap the iconic selections, which are heard by seven million people every day.
Former BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght has criticised the proposed change
The Today programme has a famously terrible record of picking winners, with the selections losing money almost constantly, adding to the jokey nature of the tips.
Of 566 horses picked during 2022 just 108 were winners, and if listeners had put a £1 stake on each fancied runner they would have lost a staggering £69 in 12 months.
The BBC hasn't shown a live horse race on television since 2012 and has also slashed the number of radio commentaries on the sport.