I’ll declare an interest from the off. I’ve always been a BBC man. One of my earliest memories was sat on the stairs at home, aged four, ignoring Zebedee’s “Time for bed” instruction from The Magic Roundabout so I could sneak a listen to Kenneth Kendall or Richard Baker reading the early evening news. Listening to the news aged four? No wonder I ended up working in PR!
We were a BBC family in our house, you see. Blue Peter not Magpie for us. David Coleman not Brian Moore. Frank Bough not Dickie Davies. Robin Day not Bryan Waldon. Look North not Calendar. TV choices were much easier back in the day. Our old Rediffusion wall clicker switch hardly ever moved from position Beeb. No multi channel, multiple choice then. It was all so simple.
I like the BBC. At it’s best it provides quality entertainment, sport, documentary and news output that is rightly the envy of the world. Yes, it has its faults. What massive organisation that has existed for years and years wouldn’t? And of course it can be improved. But the latest statements coming from the BBC’s current director general Mark Thompson represent something much more than a corrective trimming of the Beeb in the face of difficult economic times.
Thompson’s plans, cheered on by a voracious pack of vested interests in the commercial, terrestrial and satellite media, represent an assault on public service broadcasting as we know it and should be resisted. Do we really want to see the increasing Murdoch-ification of our media? I don’t and I hope there are enough ex-followers of Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes who keep the faith to stop this madness.
If you feel the same, register your opposition here and join the fightback!