The BBC’s Richard Morrison – who studied music at Cambridge University and has worked as a BBC Young Musician of the Year judge – led the latest protest against the historic songs ahead of the annual festival. The music expert argued that it would be highly inappropriate for the tunes to be played on the “Last Night of the Proms” in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the UK.
But thousands of Express.co.uk readers slammed the idea in an exclusive poll.
When asked “Should ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ be banned from the last night of the Proms?” the overwhelming majority said no.
Ninety-seven percent of respondents (11,999) voted against a ban while only three percent (359) said they would support the songs being phased out.
Just 91 readers said they didn’t know.
A poll has shown overwhelming opposition against a ban on Rule Britannia
A total of 12,449 people took part in the survey between 9am and 4pm on Saturday, July 11.
One reader said instead of banning the nationalistic songs from the Proms, Mr Morrison himself should not be allowed to attend.
The reader dismissed Mr Morrison as “another raging lefty who hates anything British”.
They questioned: “Why not cancel Morrison instead?”
Another disgruntled reader added: “Last night at the proms from Albert Hall will die a death and people who enjoyed it on TV simply won’t switch on.
“Why doesn’t this Morrison guy understand, once, only once a year, we like to stand up and sing about being British.
“Why is that a problem?”
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And yet another said playing Rule Britannia at this year’s music extravaganza would be more suitable than ever given the fact that Brexit happened in 2020 and the UK is due to leave the transition period in the coming months.
They said: “Rule Britannia would be very appropriate especially as we will regain full rights to our sovereign waters.
“So yes, keep up the tradition and let’s sing Rule Britannia at the Proms.”
One reader said nobody would be forced to listen to the tune which is part of “our country, our culture, our history”.
One reader said Mr Morrison and others calling for the songs to be banned in public are “intent on destroying the culture and fabric of the UK”.
The person said those against the playing of nationalistic hymns “won’t be happy until our history is airbrushed away and we become a bland mass of people where only the incomers are allowed a history”.
The Proms will kick off next Friday and run until September 12, predominantly at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Mr Morrison said instead of performing the traditional songs, the BBC should shake-up The Proms finale.
He said it would be better if it “reflects the attitudes of its 21st-century performers and audiences, not their Edwardian predecessors”.