BBC To Play Anti-Thatcher Song

The BBC looks set to play Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead, the Wizard of Oz song appropriated by anti-Thatcherites

David Pickoff/AP; Underwood Archives, via Getty

They never played the Sex Pistols 'God Save The Queen' when it hit the number two spot in 1977, the year of the Queen's silver Jubilee, but this weekend the BBC looks set to play "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead", the Wizard of Oz song appropriated by anti-Thatcherites to 'celebrate' the former PM's death.

All 40 of the UK’s bestselling songs are played during Radio 1’s three-hour chart show on Sunday afternoons, and songs are only banned on grounds of being offensive.

The Official Charts Company is predicting that Ding Dong! will remain in the top five this weekend.

One silver lining for Thatcherites is that the humiliation will at least be brief: the song lasts just 51 seconds.

Today, some of Mrs Thatcher's most strident supporters said they believed that the song should be played in the interests of openness.

Nigel Farage, of the right-wing UK Independence Party, told the Telegraph: “Much as I hate it, I think that if you ban a record you make a huge, huge mistake," and Conservative MP Philip Davies said the BBC had a “duty” to play the song if it remained near the top of the charts.

A BBC spokesman said that the decision would not be made on the grounds of politics or taste because the chart show is a "factual account" of what the public have bought.

But the beeb are considering whether a reporter might have to explain why a 1930s song is in the top spot as the target audience of 16 to 24-year-olds listening are too young to remember when Lady Thatcher was in office.