BBC Radio Scotland presenter Janice Forsyth has praised listeners for the "incredible" campaign to save her Saturday morning show.

The radio host said she was disappointed by the decision to axe the 18-year-old Janice Forsyth Show, but touched by the number of people who have reacted angrily to the news.

Leading politicians, musicians, writers and comedians have all backed a campaign to preserve the show, with more than 600 people signing a petition.

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Many fans of the show, including the Deputy First Minister, have also voiced their disappointment on social networking sites.

Despite the campaign, the BBC yesterday said it would not reconsider the decision to axe the programme.

Ms Forsyth said: "Any show that's gone on that long, you're always aware that you could be up for the chop at any time, but there's inevitably disappointment that it has happened.

"However, there's no way that my producer and I expected the response that we've had; it's just been incredible.

"It really makes me think about the whole business of radio and why it's so special.

"It's sometimes thought that radio is just on in the background, but people often have a special relationship with radio – as has been shown by our listeners. So, I'm really delighted by the response and all the kind messages we've had.

"Although the response has been great, the plans are pretty much set in stone, which is disappointing for the listeners because people feel they should have a say in what they are listening to."

Signatories to the online petition include author Jenny Colgan, politician Rosie Kane and comedian Susan Calman. Edwyn Collins, The Vaselines, writers Val McDermid and Mark Millar, and MSP Nicola Sturgeon tweeted their opposition.

Crime writer Ian Rankin wrote a poem about the end of the show, referring to BBC bosses as "numpties" for deciding to cancel it.

Ms Forsyth added that she will miss "everything" about the show and will be lost on a Saturday morning without it.

She said: "I work with a brilliant team and a brilliant producer, we're almost like an old married couple.

"I'll miss being able to create a programme with the music that we like, and we hope the listeners like, introducing new music and being able to interview key people.

"I was recently delighted to interview Billy Connolly, and he told us that he had wanted to do the show for years and made references to things that had gone on in the show, so it was amazing to think that he had been listening to us.

"I can't imagine what I'll do on Saturday mornings now. I'll probably have to get a job in a shop or something. It will be really strange."

She added: "For a long time, I haven't gone out on Friday nights, or out late, so I suppose I'll get that part of my life back, but I doubt I'll be able to enjoy a long lie on Saturday mornings."

The BBC said that the programme will come to an end in July to make way for more news and sports content on Saturday mornings, starting with the launch of Olympic programmes.

This is part of a move towards more speech-based programming during the day, with music scheduled in the evening.

A BBC spokeswoman added: "Janice is a terrific broadcaster and continues with her two current shows on BBC Radio Scotland with The Movie Café on Thursdays and The Comedy Café on Fridays and we very much hope to be starting a new series with Janice next year.

"BBC Radio Scotland will continue to offer distinctive music across its evening schedule and is committed to promoting new music and Scottish artists within these programmes."