Cerys Matthews denies saying she’d ban publicly educated acts on 6 Music show

BBC radio presenter Cerys Matthews has denied she suggested banning the music of public school educated artists and bands from her 6 Music show because they are overly privileged.

The former Catatonia singer was accused of stoking “class warfare” by Conservative MPs after she was quoted by Mail Online as saying she would consider the “leg-ups” publicly educated people have had while putting together her programme and “act on it”.

Matthews took to Twitter to argue she had been misrepresented by the report.

The Welsh singer wrote: “For the record: I don’t ‘ban’ anyone’s music. Thanks Daily Mail for completely missing the point in order to seek cheap headlines. Plus ca change.”

The quotes appear to come from a Music Week interview with Matthews in which she was asked about the campaign for gender balance on festival lineups.

Matthews said: “I think no matter what role you have in society, we all have the onus on us to keep progress going to make sure all classes, all colours, all creeds, all genders get the opportunity to get where they need to be going.

“That’s not happening at the minute; social mobility seems to have stalled, there’s not an equality within the school system, there’s school-tie issues going on in politics, there’s issues with both central and local government.

“It’s not just a gender thing, it’s a class thing as well. But whatever you do in life, you have to try and listen to everything and take into consideration where one person has had more of a leg-up than somebody else, and act on it – that’s what I think.

“When I programme my radio show, I don’t only want to play Anglo-American music. I think with the way the world is right now, we ought to be able to listen to music in all different languages and cultures and simply play great music.”

Following the Mail Online report the BBC defended Matthews by saying: “No artists are banned from Radio 6 Music and at no point did Cerys suggest that any were banned from her show.”

Conservative MP Philip Davies had called on Matthews to resign from the BBC, telling Mail Online: “If she feels so strongly about the people from over-privileged backgrounds I’m not entirely sure why she works at the BBC, which is full of people who come from over-privileged backgrounds.

“If she doesn’t want to be accused of being a hypocrite she might want to resign from her role at the BBC.”

Matthews first began broadcasting on 6 Music in 2008.

- Press Association

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