In a decision branded “disappointing” by Royal British Legion supporters, the BBC has omitted the Legion’s poppy appeal song from its official radio playlists. Although the Corporation’s DJs will be able to play the song if they so choose, it won’t be part of the playlist set guaranteed regular airtime on the stations, the Daily Mail has reported.
No Man’s Land (Green Fields of France) is a collaboration between singer Joss Stone and guitarist Jeff Beck released on behalf of the Royal British Legion, the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity, who will receive 40 percent of the proceeds. The pair performed the song, a cover version of Eric Bogle’s 1976 original, in front of the Queen on Saturday night, backed by a full gospel choir.
The Legion is hoping to raise £40 million to fund its work aiding returning soldiers and their families through the sale of the song and its traditional Poppy Appeal. Director of Fundraising Charles Byrne said: “The Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning from the First World War. A century on from the start of that conflict, we’re still helping today’s Armed Forces families in much the same way, whether coping with bereavement, living with disability, or finding employment.
“The Poppy is more than just a sign of Remembrance it is a symbol of inspiration and hope. We are thrilled that it has inspired two of our country’s greatest musical talents to produce such a wonderful tribute to the memory of the fallen and help us raise funds for the future of the living.”
Consequently, it was left disappointed by the BBC’s decision not to guarantee the song airtime, making it more difficult for the legion to promote the song and hopefully see it rise up the music charts.
Speaking to Breitbart London, a spokesman for the Legion was stoic about the decision, telling us: “We absolutely respect the BBC’s decision not to playlist the official Poppy Appeal single, ‘No Man’s Land (Green Fields of France)’. We understand not every record can be played on the radio. We still hope the Great British public will come out and support the single as we continue to raise funds for the charity and the beneficiary community we serve.”
The record’s executive producer Liam Maguire said: “We respect the BBC’s choice not to support the track but we don’t necessarily agree with it.
“We hope the great British public comes out and buys the single to push it to No1 and raise money for our brave armed forces community.”
However, according to industry sources, the song has been left off the playlist because the BBC wants to push its own charity effort, the Children in Need single God Only Knows. An unnamed source has told the Mirror: “It’s disgraceful, a ridiculous decision. Joss Stone and Jeff Beck are spot on for Radio 2 – it should be on the playlist, it’s as simple as that.
“The record producers were told it couldn’t be put on the playlist because the BBC had already backed Children in Need single, God Only Knows.
“No Man’s Land has been played a couple of times by Terry Wogan and Vanessa Feltz but they are big supporters of the Legion – I don’t think their producers would have the strength to tell them not to play it.
“Why it’s not on the official playlist, especially this week, is beyond belief.”
The BBC meanwhile has vigorously denied the allegation that its own charity song has taken preference, calling the idea “preposterous”. A spokesman for the corporation last night said “The track has been played on Radio 2 including twice on Remembrance Sunday. The BBC has been running an extensive series of programming commemorating the fallen of World War I.
“It’s preposterous to suggest the song hasn’t been playlisted because of the Children In Need single.
“New releases are played at a playlist meeting every week and tracks are democratically chosen by a group of at least 10 experienced producers who know their millions of listeners well.”