THE BBC has again defended the decision to axe popular breakfast show host Graham Mack following an outcry by his devoted listeners.

The Adver has received several letters bemoaning Mack’s loss in the week the new BBC Wiltshire breakfast presenter Ben Prater took up his new role.

Graham was axed without warning as part of the corporation’s 20 per cent budget cuts, even though his contract with the BBC was not supposed to end until February 2013.

As part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First proposals, it was announced in October 2011 that split breakfast programmes in BBC English Regions in Devon, Cambridge, Wiltshire and Three Counties would cease.

After a consultation, the Swindon and Wiltshire breakfast shows were combined into one new show, presented by Ben, who arrived from BBC Radio Bristol.

Geoffrey Heaford, of the Green, Highworth, said: “The BBC has treated Graham Mack, Heather Skull and Mark Jones in a deplorable way. It is compounded by the reluctance of the station manager to explain his failure to stand up to the bullyboy beancounters of regional and national service.”

Mrs P Phillips, of Beaufort Road, Wroughton said: “Where, oh where is Graham Mack?

“What bright spark made him redundant? He was a presenter who did a lot of good for the town.”

Lynne and John Edwards, of Tweed Close, wrote: “Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Listeners weren’t even given the opportunity to say goodbye to Graham. It really is Swindon’s loss.”

A BBC spokesman said: “Following the public consultation on the DQF proposals the saving requirements for Local Radio were significantly reduced.

“Combining the breakfast programmes has helped BBC Wiltshire to deliver these savings. “We are confident that BBC Wiltshire will continue to offer a local and relevant news service.”