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BBC Proms Not Inclusive Enough

British Culture Minister Margaret Hodge

Culture minister criticises Proms

by Peter Apps

Culture minister Margaret Hodge stirred up a storm on Tuesday by criticising the annual promenade classical music concerts in London's Albert Hall as not inclusive enough for a modern multi-ethnic society.

The Last Night of the Proms each September sees hundreds of concertgoers in the hall and across the road in Hyde Park waving flags to patriotic songs like "Land of Hope and Glory," "Jerusalem" and "Rule Britannia."

But challenging the arts sector to better reflect modern Britain, Hodge said they were reaching too narrow an audience.

"The audiences for many of our greatest cultural events -- I'm thinking particularly of the Proms -- is still a long way from demonstrating that people from different backgrounds feel that they are a part of this," she said in a speech to a London think tank.

[See for yourself: Schedule for the 2007 BBC Proms]

Read more about this at the Reuters website: