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Updated: BBC to play ‘short clip’ of Oz song after ‘ding-dong’ with Thatcher fans

The broadcaster is under pressure to ban the song which has surged up the charts in the wake of Margaret Thatcher’s death on Monday.

Image: Neil Munns/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 3.45pm

THE BBC HAS confirmed that it will play a ‘short clip’ of the Wizard of Oz song ‘Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead’ on its airwaves this weekend as the track surges up the music charts in the wake of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s death.

In a brief statement issued this afternoon, the broadcaster said: “The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned.

“On Sunday, the Radio 1 Chart Show will contain a news item explaining why the song is in the charts during which a short clip will be played as it has been in some of our news programmes.”

The song currently lies at number one in the iTunes UK top ten following an internet campaign to push the song up the charts following the death of Thatcher on Monday. She was 87 and died of a stroke.

The BBC has in the past banned controversial songs including Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols and had come under pressure to not play the song on the radio this Sunday during its weekly Official Chart Show.

Thatcher’s official biographer and former Telegraph editor Charles Moore had yesterday accused the BBC of trying to get the song higher up the charts.

Speaking on the BBC’s own Question Time programme, Moore said that rather than being a wicked witch herself, Thatcher was in fact the 1939 hit film’s heroine, Dorothy.

“The reason that song is sung, I think, is that the witch that’s dead is the Wicked Witch of the East and it was Mrs Thatcher who defeated the east, and in this tale and this song Mrs Thatcher is Dorothy,” he said last night.

Separately BBC News reports that a police officer in London’s metropolitan force has resigned after he wrote on Twitter that her death was “87 years too late” and added that the world is a “better place” as a result of her death.

Read: Here’s who is attending Thatcher’s funeral on behalf of the Irish government…

Video: When Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to jump for TV

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Hugh O'Connell

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