The Swindon segment of BBC Wiltshire’s early morning show will no longer feature edgy award winning presenter Graham Mack, after he was told the day before he went on holiday on 20 September not to return to the station.
His contract was due to end in February but Graham is the victim of the corporation’s drive to slash 20 per cent from its budget.
The move was set out in the BBC’s Delivering Quality First proposals published in October 2011 which stated that split breakfast programmes on BBC local radio would end.
Axing Graham Mack means that Swindon has lost an incisive and inquisitive broadcaster who made an important contribution to local democracy by asking the difficult questions which taxpayers wanted answers to.
His sharp questioning put the movers and shakers and decision makers of the town on the spot to justify their actions. Council leader Rod Bluh and Ian Piper, chief executive of Forward Swindon, both regularly clashed blades with the Mack as he demanded they clearly explain what they were up to.
Graham won the Sony Radio Academy Gold award in 2011 and was a finalist in Best Talk Show Host category for the New York Festival’s International Radio Awards 2012.
In Swindon, when not on the radio, he is well known when performing with his Graham Mack Rock Band with Swindon Council chief executive Gavin Jones. Gigs for charities like Swindon Inclusive Arts Network for people with learning difficulties, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Goldenhar Syndrome, Lights For Learning, Swindon Carers, Prospect Hospice, and Willows Counselling Service have raised over £15,000 of the last three years.
The breakfast show covering Swindon will end on 5 November when Ben Prater, who is moving from BBC Bristol, will take over, providing news and information covering the whole of Wiltshire.
See Graham’s pictures from his holiday in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Los Angles at Twitter