BBC Essex sacks Ken Crowther

Award winning gardening broadcaster Ken Crowther has been sacked by BBC Essex managing editor Lou Birt.

Ken, who had presented gardening programmes on BBC Essex since the station opened 34 years ago, was told in a phone call that he was axed immediately.

It means that Ken, who’s been answering BBC Essex listeners’ gardening questions every Saturday since 1986, will be absent from the radio dial for the first time this weekend.

74 year old Ken Crowther said, “Lou Birt told me she was sacking me straight away because I’d made a flippant remark in a broadcast earlier this week. Ken had told a listener asking about a plant problem that “I’ll let you know in the spring how to prune it if I’m still here.” Lou Birt told me that if a member of the public picked up on it they could make a fuss and cause trouble.”

Ken said he is shocked and angry that he has been dismissed in such a callous way and feels he deserves better treatment after such long service.

He said, “In these stressful times when gardening has become such an important part of life relieving stress and strains affecting people’s mental health, it is a strange time to choose to axe gardening.”

Ken has twice won awards from The Garden Media Guild for his broadcasts, beating scores of other broadcasters and national radio and tv gardening broadcasters.

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Dave,  19 Sep 2021:
...So sad what BBC Essex have done to Ken ,he and I were on different radio stations but Ken was what we all try to be down to earth ,giving information that listeners could understand . I am afraid old school garden advice is not sexy enough for the beeb as usual they are out of touch good luck Ken
Carey,  12 Sep 2021:
...My thanks to the (ex) BBC Essex listeners who have expressed their indignation following the untimely termination of Mr.Ken Crowther's BBC Essex gardening programme.This event was the final straw which led me to stop listening to BBC Essex.I also had been listening to the station since 1986.I wrote in to the gardening programme in 2018 & I was amazed to receive a typed,personalised letter from Mr.Crowther.It reflects the degree of professionalism & devotion to duty which attends all Mr.Crowther does.I had been wishing for a way Ken's family of listeners could all be informed of any improvements to the current situation.What can be done? If a person doesn't have any self respect, how can they respect others?With thanks to Garden forum, Sincerely,Carey
Beryl,  8 May 2021:
...Terrible the way Ken Crowther was sacked after years of service to BBC Essex, agree with other complainants Lou Birt should have been the one who was sacked! Was it a case of ageism? His program was so interesting and what is on instead...people taking about old cinemas!!! I hardly ever listen to this station anymore because of this callous treatment of Ken Crowther
Colin,  8 May 2021:
...The appalling sacking of Ken is just typical of the BBC. If they wanted to save money they could have got rid of at least 4 of the useless presenters I’ve heard during the daytime. Only one show worth listening to now and that’s the John Leach soul show. Suppose that will be next !
Carole,  7 May 2021:
...I am absolutely disgusted to hear that Ken Crowther has been sacked after all these years for a remark that in the present circumstances.... Covid .... anyone would say! My Brother and I don't listen to your station anymore.... there is no one that could take his place!!!
Gloria,  1 May 2021:
...Lou Birt is the person who should be axed
MaidMarian,  25 Apr 2021:
...I was disgusted to hear about Ken Crowther's sacking and the reason for it. I don't listen to BBC Essex anymore because there is nobody worth listening to now only an over the top full of herself female presenter, who took over Ken's gardening program and started it late, finished early and interrupted with playing music when all the listeners wanted to do was gardening talk. Originally it was a 3 hour program reduced to 1 hour. I listened to the gardening program for several years and I hope Ken has now got a slot somewhere else.
Christine,  21 Mar 2021:
...Absolutely disgusting!!! BBC ESSEX should be ashamed of themselves! I'm devastated! Come on ken get yourself on another radio station & we'll all switch to that station instead.
Maddy,  7 Mar 2021:
...I hadn't realised there was somewhere I could voice my views on the 'sacking' of Ken Crowther! I have written, some months ago, to the BBC to complain but I haven't had the courtesy of a reply. The new programme started yesterday, with an expert (can't remember her name), and if the BBC were cost-cutting with regard to Ken, I wonder if the latest 'expert' is offer her services free of charge. I don't think so! I miss Ken's programme and his help, so will contact him by other means. He has emailed me a couple of times, and has been helpful in identifying a shrub!
Jackie,  24 Feb 2021:
...So sad I won't be able to hear some common sense gardening advice on BBC Essex anymore.I have been a listener to your station from almost day one, but have very recently discovered Boom Radio,it doesn't have the chat sadly but at least I don't have to hear every presenter saying "love that track" after yet another so called piece of music
Brian Butler,  20 Feb 2021:
...What on earth has happened to BBC Essex, the sacking of Ken Crowther was absolutely ridiculous. There is now nothing on Saturday that’s worth listening to, unbelievable. Other than Ray Clark and a couple of others there’s nothing worth listening to I think you should be sacking whoever makes these decisions.
richard,  12 Jan 2021:
...Bad move from the ever biased BBC
Terry,  9 Jan 2021:
...So sad that Ken Crowther has gone from Saturday morning on BBC Essex. Nothing for me now on Saturday as the presenter and music is not to my taste and football is not of interest to me.
Peter,  5 Jan 2021:
...I shall miss Saturday’s garden question time . It was a shame when it was cut down to 1 hour . I will not be turning in to BBC Essex on Saturday anymore . What’s taking its place is someone who just likes to hear her own Voice . A lot of people loved garden question time .
Len P. (Chair Newham Conservation Volunteers),  4 Jan 2021:
...Who will replace Ken , because it will I will not be turning on BBC Essex Sat/Tues waiting for gardening tips. BRING BACK KEN.
STEVE,  8 Dec 2020:
...Is this 'Birt' related to a former head of the BBC?
Kevin,  7 Dec 2020:
...Typical BBC taking things out of context. You are an utter disgrace. Perhaps you should also leave your post Ms Birt. Shame on you

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