The BBC has announced the launch of a new podcast about “astrology-based black queer dating”.
Broadcast executives have unveiled the show, believed to be the first programme to focus on its particular subject matter, to coincide with UK Black Pride 2023.
The BBC’s latest offering, called Swipe Your Sign, will feature dating aided by the auguries of a professional astrologer.
Promotional material for the podcast boasts that “never before has there been a black, queer focused dating podcast”, and adds that the new offering will cover issues including “challenging heteronormative roles in queer relationships”.
The BBC 1Xtra production, which will air on BBC Sounds, is set to be hosted by Nathan Henry, the Geordie Shore star, and Ro Frimpong, a podcaster, who will be assisted in astrological matters by Celestial Tree, a horoscope expert.
Tree said: “Astrology has become such an integral part of the queer dating experience.
“That’s why Swipe Your Sign has definitely come at just the right time. I’ve absolutely loved bringing my knowledge and passion for astrology to this brand-new podcast, it’s a dream come true.”
Search for romance
The podcast will see Henry and Frimpong seek potential partners with the help of astrologers and a thorough consultation of their astrological charts.
Interwoven with their search for romance, the podcast will also tell the stories of “young, black, queer individuals”.
The new production has been criticised by some as appearing to appeal to particularly niche interests, and Rebecca Ryan, the campaign director of Defund the BBC, has claimed that the programme represents so little value for money that it calls into question the worth of the licence fee.
She said: “The BBC has become a national laughing stock, except being forced to pay for this drivel when you’re struggling to put food on the table and pay your bills is no laughing matter.
“It’s time to scrap the licence fee and make the BBC directly answerable to anyone who still wants to pay for it.”
Frimpong has stated that “loads of people would heavily relate to” the programme, and Henry added that “it’s so authentic”.