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Comic Lucy Beaumont boycotts BBC Look North to protest Radio Humberside Burnsy departure

Lucy Beaumont with husband John Richardson, Dave/YouTube

Comic Lucy Beaumont has refused to appear on BBC Look North tonight in protest at the ending of David Burns’ tenure at BBC Radio Humberside.

Burns, better known as Burnsy, announced his involuntary departure via Twitter and on his show yesterday after around 12 years presenting daytime shows on the Humberside station, and even longer service as a sports reporter and Hull City FC expert.

Burns also won Radio Broadcast Presenter of the Year, Yorkshire and Humber, at the O2 Media Awards for three consecutive years in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The ending of the presenter’s long stint on the airwaves coincides with a series of cuts to BBC Local Radio services.

Beaumont, the creator of Hullraisers, star of Meet the Richardsons, and one of Hull’s most famous exports alongside Maureen Lipman, The Housemartins and Robinson Crusoe also took to Twitter to announce she would not be taking part in a scheduled Look North interview today, adding that Burns is “as popular as ever and the people of Hull love him.”

Beaumont went on to praise Burns’ knowledge of the local nightlife and culture scene: “If you want to know about new music, comedy or theatre- you ask Burnsy,” she Tweeted. “He’ll have been to a gig the night before to support people.” Other locals were quick to agree with Beaumont, including members of the local Rotary Association:

Man City fan Alan even went as far as to call for a general strike until the government calls a general election:

Almost all the Tweets in the growing thread appear to support Beaumont’s view on Burns, although some did temper this with the belief that the comic might have been better using Look North as a platform to raise the issue rather than boycott:

The BBC has insisted that any jobs lost in local radio will be matched by new jobs in its online servies. It told Prolific North following Burns’ announcement of his imminent demise yesterday: “We cannot comment on individual contracts. Many of our presenters will continue to present on local radio at the end of this process in new presenter/producer roles but we appreciate change like this is really difficult and we are supporting our teams closely through this.

“Our aim is to achieve a better balance between our local online and broadcast services at a time when millions of people increasingly turn to their mobile first for news and information. The changes see no reduction in funding or overall staffing levels across our 39 local bases in England.”

The BBC’s director of nations, Rhodri Talfan Davies, also spoke in support of the changes at the Creative Cities Convention in Sunderland yesterday. Davies warned in his speech to the convention that “communities will lose out” without change. 

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