BBC World Service Hindi may avoid axe

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The BBC World Service is looking at making a U-turn on its decision to axe its Hindi output, which has been around for 70 years.

BBC Hindi was granted a temporary reprieve on Monday as the corporation revealed it is in talks with “a number of commercial parties” to continue funding the station.

“Since the announcement, there has been much public discussion of the potential for retaining some of this service and the BBC has been approached by a number of commercial parties with alternative funding proposals,” the BBC said in a statement.

The BBC has agreed to fund a one-hour short-wave news programme each day “for an interim period” while commercial funding is negotiated.

“If sustainable commercial funding for this service cannot be found during the 2011/12 financial year, we regret that it will then have to close by March 2012,” the statement added.

The BBC was criticised by many listeners over its closure. Veteran journalist Sir Mark Tully led support to save the station from facing the axe.

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