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BBC angers Thatcher critics after refusing to play Wizard of Oz song in full

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 15, 2013 | 2 min read

The BBC has angered critics of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after broadcasting just seven seconds of a Wizard of Oz track and relegating it to a separate news item.

Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead leapt to number two in the Top 40, narrowly missing out to Need U by Duke Dumont, despite widespread coverage of the campaign and 1939 Judy Garland track in the media.

The 51 second jingle is the shortest ever to make it to the top ten according to the Official Charts Company and necessitated an explanation from Radio 1 music reporter Sinead Garvan as to why the film soundtrack was enjoying a sudden burst of popularity.

A rival pro-Thatcher song, I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher by the Notsensibles, charted at 35 and was played in full.

Paul Robinson, a former managing editor of Radio 1, criticised the decision not to broadcast the full ditty, saying that the chart was ‘not the property’ of the BBC.

"It sets a very dangerous precedent because they have taken an editorial view on a song in the Top 40. They have destroyed the idea that it is the people's chart and not the property of the BBC," Robinson said.

"History is full of songs that were never part of Radio 1's playlist but made it on to the chart. The only issue the BBC should consider is whether the language is appropriate.”

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