BBC Music boss Bob Shennan has spoken to Music Week about the public broadcaster's decision to clear its Sunday night schedules to accommodate last weekend's One Love Manchester benefit concert.
Organised at little over a week's notice, the show was the most watched TV event of the year so far, drawing an average audience of 10.9 million viewers. It was broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC World Service and BBC Radio Manchester, and Global Radio.
Shennan (pictured), director of BBC Radio and Music, said the move to clear the Sunday night schedule, which saw popular BBC One shows such as Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow make way for the three-hour broadcast, was "incredibly unusual and exceptional".
“To clear the Sunday evening schedule on BBC One within a week of broadcast is incredibly unusual and exceptional," he said. "When you're disrupting the evening schedule of one of your most successful evenings of the week, you do so knowing that there's an element of risk. But there was never any scintilla of doubt that it was the right thing to do.”
Headlined by Ariana Grande, and featuring performances from the likes of Katy Perry, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, Take That and Robbie Williams, the event was widely lauded for its quality.
“[One Love Manchester] gave the nation the chance to enjoy a sense of catharsis, togetherness and music," added Shennan. "This was an incredibly intense and important national moment and our job was to make sure that we captured it and reflected it back to the audience as best we can.”
Today's edition of Music Week features a four-page Special Report on One Love Manchester, including interviews with organisers Scooter Braun, Melvin Benn and Simon Moran, and a host of other figures involved in making the event materialise.