There was a heart-warming eruption of pro-BBC sentiment on the BBC Breakfast sofa this morning, with freelance journalist Robert Meakin joining the BBC's very own Roger Johnson in rubbishing the apparent government proposal to move Strictly and Bake Off (in order to give the BBC's commercial rivals a helping hand):
Not a sign of 'devil's advocacy' there, was there?Roger Johnson: What's caught your eye? The BBC's in three of the papers this morning.Robert Meakin: Yeah, widely reported today again about what the Charter will involve. The suggestion now being that the BBC may not be allowed to have its most popular shows - like Strictly, Bake Off - at the most popular times of the day and night...which seems to be, have to say as an impartial licence payer, that seems rather strange, just because Strictly happens to be the most popular show it shouldn't be shown on Saturday night against ITV rivals. It's obviously going to cause...Obviously there's a lot of gossip and speculation. It all comes from the usual murky sources. The suggestion is though that that seems to be the way the wind is blowing. The BBC will have to reconsider when it comes to big hits being up against, you know, main rivals on ITV.Roger Johnson: And if you're not making popular programmes it almost diminishes...what's the point?Robert Meakin: And you start to wonder if you have a popular show then you're going to get punished...Roger Johnson: Yeah.
Robert Meakin: ...and be on, you know, Tuesday at 11 pm instead and have a documentary on steam engines on Saturday night at 8 o'clock. No offence to steam engines,..Roger Johnson: Yeah.
Robert Meakin: ...but it's not possibly what viewers want on that time of day.
Steph McGovern: Yeah. Interesting, isn't it? Any stories you've picked out....