Former Radio 1 DJ Nihal now broadcasts on Asian Network and 5 Live
BBC radio DJ Nihal has criticised diversity at Radio 1, claiming “nothing has changed” at the corporation since former director general Greg Dyke called it “hideously white” in 2001.
He welcomed news that DJ Clara Amfo is joining Radio 1’s daytime line-up.
But he said there is “a problem on the eighth floor” of the BBC’s Broadcasting House where Radio 1, its sister station 1Xtra and the Asian Network are based.
The Radio 1 office, he said, is “all white” while 1Xtra’s is “all black”.
The former Radio 1 DJ, who now broadcasts on Asian Network and 5 Live, was taking part in a panel on diversity at the Oxford Media Convention when he made his comments.
“All the Asians are sitting in one corner, all the white people are on Radio 1 and all the black people are on 1Xtra,” he said.
“That is not diversity, that is silos.”
Nihal – full name Nihal Arthanayake – is currently part of BBC director general Tony Hall’s working group to improve diversity at the corporation.
He praised the way Lord Hall is tackling the issue and expressed gratitude for the opportunities that have come his way.
“I was a Radio 1 DJ for 12 years, one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” he told BBC News after his Oxford appearance on Wednesday. “Only the BBC would have given me the opportunities I’ve been given.
“But that’s not to say I can’t criticise the BBC, as others do, for where it can be better. We need to work harder.
“It’s 14 years since Greg Dyke made his ‘hideously white’ comments. In 14 years my seven-year-old son will have left university, he’ll be 21.
Source:: BBC Entertainment