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Monday, November 8, 1999 Published at 17:22 GMT


Christians call for Sir Cliff boycott

Sir Cliff: A patron of the station behind the boycott

A Christian radio station wants listeners to boycott BBC Radio 2 after it decided not to put Sir Cliff Richard's new single on its playlist.

London-based Premier Christian Radio promised to play Millennium Prayer - the Lord's Prayer sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne - once an hour on Monday, and to keep it on top of its playlist until Christmas.

Sir Cliff, 59, is a patron of the station, which has a weekly reach of 108,000 listeners according to industry figures. The station is partially-funded by subscriptions from listeners. Many of its staff are volunteers.

Premier managing director Peter Kerridge said: "I find it quite unbelievable that BBC Radio 2 has unilaterally decided to totally reject a record, which, based on advanced sales alone, could make it to the number one spot in the charts at Christmas.

"The ban is even more incredible when one considers that Cliff will be donating the proceeds to children's charities."

He also urged Radio 2 listeners to telephone BBC bosses to complain about the decision.

Last week, fans of Sir Cliff protested outside Broadcasting House against the decision to leave him off the playlist, which was taken because the song did not have "broad enough appeal".

However, the BBC emphasised DJs can play the record on their shows if they wish, and the station's head of music policy, Geoff Mullin, said there was a possibility the song could be playlisted at a later date.

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