The BBC has come under criticism from members of the public for not featuring any BAME choristers on it’s “Carols from King’s” program which is an annual event over the festive period.
This year the performance, from King’s College, Cambridge, featured 13 young choristers from the King’s Singers rather than from its own choir as the King’s College Cambridge’s adult choristers, who had been due to sing, were forced to self-isolate just 2 days before the event owing to two of its members contracting the coronavirus.
Viewers of the program, broadcast on BBC2, complained about the lack of diversity among the choristers and took to Twitter to air their grievances. One user, Sue Hillyard, said “Great to see such Christmas Eve diversity #carolsfromkings.” Another Twitter user said “Why didn’t the #BBC feature an additional Christmas program involving carols etc from a gospel choir? We’d have loved to have seen this.” After the event, a spokesman from King’s College told the Mail on Sunday that due to the late change the diversity had not been able to be expressed. He went on to say “King’s College is a diverse community whose commitment to equality of access and wider participation is reflected in every aspect of College life. Sadly, the diversity of the College was not expressed in the televised service because a number of participants were required to self-isolate just before filming commenced following positive tests for COVID-19.” The Dean of the College, Rev Dr. Stephen Cherry, thanked the King’s Singers for standing in prior to the show airing, saying “We are all hugely grateful to the King’s Singers for stepping up at the last minute. They have shown tremendous goodwill and consummate professionalism. Our young choristers also responded very positively and with real maturity to the several challenges faced in re-imagining the program, and together they have enabled us to offer a wonderful Christmas service at extraordinarily short notice.” King’s College Cambridge and the BBC have been contacted for comment.
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