Saturday 5 September 2020

In with the new, out with the old

So, just a few days in, Tim Davie is apparently going to:

(a) Stop BBC stars from engaging in lucrative but potentially impartiality-busting moonlighting (in the light of recent controversies over the out of office activities of Naga Munchetty, Jon Sopel, etc);

(b) Crack down on impartiality-busting activity on social media ("If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC");

(c) Reduce the one-sided political partisanship of so much BBC comedy, maybe getting rid of the worst-offending shows; 

(e) Shift the focus away from London to the whole UK ("from Cornwall to Shetland, from Suffolk to County Fermanagh");

(f) Seek "a wider spectrum of views";

(g) Try to stop hiring just 'BBC types' "from out own image";


(g) Have Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory sung at The Proms after all. 

This is striking stuff. And a rebuke to the old regime that allowed things to deteriorate so badly. 

I'm liking it. Maybe he is the very model of a modern director-general. 

But...he's rightly receiving a cautious welcome. 

Most of those, however grudgingly, praising him for 'talking a good talk' are understandably waiting to see if the second part of that cliché  - the bit about 'walking the walk' - ever happens. 

He's a BBC insider, of course, and he might go native even quicker for already being 'a native'. 

Others, of course, are wondering if (and some hoping that) it's far too late anyhow.


I've been reading lots of people in the papers saying nice things about Lord Hall, particularly about how nice he is. 

But the state the BBC now finds itself in is something he must bear ultimate responsibility for - including agreeing to fund over 75s' licence fees as part of a deal with the government and then welching on that deal. 

And the pandering to the 'woke' brigade in recent months (overruling his own editorial director David Jordan on at least two occasions) has been especially damaging. 

My pet theory for that is that Lord was thinking of himself and his own future as a highly-remunerated arts supremo and playing to the 'ultra-woke' arts gallery. 

It sounds as if Tim Davie forced Lord Hall into an emergency compromise at the Last Night of the Proms - having orchestral versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory rather than dropping them altogether - but now Lord Hall's gone to his next plum job at the National Gallery Mr Davie has squashed that compromise and is having them sung after all - along with Jerusalem.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.