BBC faces dilemma as anti-Thatcher song tops chart

  • Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 9:56 a.m.
Anti-Thatcher protesters react to the death of  former British Prime Minister as they gather at Trafalgar Square in London, Monday, April 8, 2013. Thatcher’s spokesman, Tim Bell, said the former prime minister died from a stroke Monday morning at the Ritz hotel in London. Flags were flown at half-staff at Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Downing Street for the 87 year old. Queen Elizabeth II authorized a ceremonial funeral, a step short of a state funeral to be held for Thatcher at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London next week with military honors. ‘The Witch is Dead’ on T-shirt refers to an Anti-Thatcher song.  (AP PHOTO)
Anti-Thatcher protesters react to the death of former British Prime Minister as they gather at Trafalgar Square in London, Monday, April 8, 2013. Thatcher’s spokesman, Tim Bell, said the former prime minister died from a stroke Monday morning at the Ritz hotel in London. Flags were flown at half-staff at Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Downing Street for the 87 year old. Queen Elizabeth II authorized a ceremonial funeral, a step short of a state funeral to be held for Thatcher at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London next week with military honors. ‘The Witch is Dead’ on T-shirt refers to an Anti-Thatcher song. (AP PHOTO)

LONDON (AP) — The BBC is in a bind after opponents of Margaret Thatcher pushed the song “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” to the top of the charts in posthumous protest over the late British leader’s divisive policies.

The online campaign to drive the “Wizard of Oz” song to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart was launched by Thatcher critics shortly after the former prime minister died Monday of a stroke at age 87.


Many say the campaign — which aims to see the song played this weekend on the BBC’s Official Chart Show — is in bad taste. Some have called on the BBC to promise it won’t broadcast the song.

John Whittingdale, a lawmaker from Thatcher’s Conservative party, told the Daily Mail tabloid that many would find the ditty “deeply insensitive.”

“This is an attempt to manipulate the charts by people trying to make a political point,” he said.

In a statement, the BBC said it had not yet made any decision on whether it would feature the song on its show — which normally plays all the week’s best-selling hits.

“The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear,” the taxpayer-funded BBC said.

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