The BBC needs to look to history if it wishes to regain the nation’s adulation
For so long, the BBC was considered an institution. Its celebrated presenters numbered such giants as Richard Dimbleby and Alan Whicker and its programming was lauded throughout the world. Sadly today, this license payer funded broadcaster has sunk into the mire and is instead dominated by a self-obsessed clique that has not learnt from the lessons of the disgrace that the likes of Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile piled upon it.
Whilst one cannot doubt the stature of the likes of David Attenborough and Jeremy Paxman, few other presenters working for an organisation that was once so favourable referred to as ‘Auntie’ are of any note. Programming is dominated by reality shows, lowbrow dramas and weak news coverage and in spite of the vast sums spent, much of what is put on air is frankly unwatchable.
With a 2008 conviction for assaulting, imprisoning and threatening a Norwegian with a sex toy, Boy George personifies where this public service broadcaster gets it so wrong. Paid a rumoured £300,000 salary to present The Voice by ‘The Club’, this man cannot be described as a good role model and should not have been selected as the replacement for the legendary Sir Tom Jones. If Boy George truly is what the corporation considers ‘right’, what can one expect next? Will the Beeb welcome back the recently released child abuser Stuart Hall with open arms next? He, after all, like Boy George, has served his time and Jonathan King also, on that basis, could be given another chance.
‘Auntie’, however, could take a different and correct path redeem herself: She could reel out some fresh talent and she also could urge her presenters to look to history. As Libby Purves pointed out in a serenade to the late Cliff Michelmore in today’s Daily Mail: “[He was] a trouper who used the medium not as an ego trip or a shortcut to wealth and fame, but as a shared window on everything there is to see and know”. It is time the BBC returned to just that and it is time it put down the egomaniacs.
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