Saturday 28 November 2020

Performing somersaults with gusto

An editorial at The Critic points out something that doesn't get pointed out enough: "No one in BBC management ever pays a price for the BBC’s mistakes — they just happen, like the weather".

(Poor hapless George Entwistle, who arrived as DG at precisely the wrong moment and lasted just 54 days, is the most obvious exception to the rule).
We know [the BBC] has been paying itself far too much for years because its defence now is that it’s no longer doing so. Yet if you boast about cutting Gary Lineker’s income, for example, by £400,000, who takes responsibility for having overpaid him so much for so long? No one. For years, the official BBC line on pay was: we can’t tell you what we’re paying ourselves because otherwise all our talent will be snatched away (by namelessly wealthy rival employers, they live in the next media village, you wouldn’t know them). Then it was obliged to tell us and the line became: we’re worth it. This was followed by, we’re sorry, our pay structure was racist and sexist — who did that? — but now it’s not: give us more money please.
On a related theme, there's an amusing story from Patrick Kidd in The Times today
For the Tory leadership contest 30 years ago this week, Radio 4 sent three wise men to follow the stars: Steve Richards with Michael Heseltine, Huw Edwards with Douglas Hurd and Robert Orchard with John Major. If only the IT hadn’t been in the hands of asses. The first technology failure came when someone played the wrong pre-recorded bulletin after the first ballot, announcing that Heseltine had won. At the second ballot the studio producer failed to hear Richards bellowing “Come to me now! Now!” in his ear and so missed Hezza’s concession speech, while Edwards was “apoplectic” that his magisterial analysis of Hurd chucking it in was binned because the radio car sent to relay his report couldn’t find anywhere to park. “It was all a serious cock-up,” Richards says. “As usual, those responsible got promoted.

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