Friday, 27 January 2012

A preview of the advert for the BBC Director General post

The BBC is looking for a new Director General. Are you the right person for the job?

In order to balance the fact that the last three DGs have been nakedly left-wing (the one before that was an accountant, so no one could be arsed to look into his politics) you will be a right-winger. As the current chairman is a sopping wet Tory – more a Lib-Dem, really – you’ll be a proper right-winger, and not a pretend one like David Cameron.

For the past three decades (at least) the BBC has campaigned aggressively in favour of immigration, Islam, the Palestinian cause, AGW, the EU, Devolution, the Euro, the US Democratic Party, “Green” energy, multiculturalism, the Big State, increased public spending, Republicanism, the “Occupy” movement, the Labour Party, anti-militarism and for a more liberal criminal justice system. The public’s had enough of all that bollocks, so, while we’ll all pretend your views on these issues don’t matter in the least, we will look favourably on candidates who are in favour of Israel, the military, the monarchy, the US Tea Party movement, nuclear energy, low taxes, less state intervention, an end to immigration, monoculturalism, leaving the EU, the Union, hanging and flogging criminals and protesters (if, in fact, they aren’t the same thing), and High Church Anglicanism.

When asked which regular BBC perfomers you would like to get rid of, the correct response would be “the whole of the Today Programme team, Lenny Henry, Arthur Smith, Kirsty Wark, Stephen Fry, all Radio 4 comedians, Mark Mardell, that ghastly communist who covers business affairs for Newsnight, and whole of its Middle East news team”. You will propose closing down BBC 3 immediately, and doubling funding for the excellent BBC 4 and Radio 3 (as long as the latter stops inflicting World Music and Jazz on its listeners). All programming aimed at domestic “ethnic” audiences will be abolished, as will Money Box and You & Yours (because they’re cosmically boring).

The successful candidate may very well feel that the Radio 4 audience has heard enough dramas about the irish Troubles, the oppression of immigrants in the UK, the historical sufferings of the proletariat, modern sink-estate yoof, and Scotland. You may very well think it’s time to feature works about Britain’s glorious military past, its beneficent empire and the myriad benefits arising from the liberal economic system it invented.  You might also want to ban any further reference to the ludicrously over-hyped Jarrow Crusade, and propose an historical series celebrating the work of the security services, the military, business leaders and ordinary members of the public to thwart attempts by socialist wreckers to take over the country or betray it to its foreign enemies.

The move to Manchester has been a costly disaster. You will decide to cut losses and repatriate all production to London, where it belongs, leaving the Salford Quays site to be over-run by feral youth gangs.

You will probably want to send all BBC journalists for political retraining. Former BBC Business Editor, Jeff Randall, will be appointed Director of News, your Energy Correspondent will be James Delingpole, and your Head of Religious Affairs will be someone who believes in the central tenets of Christianity. The post of Social Affairs Editor will be abolished, on the grounds that there is no such thing as society, and replaced with a Government Waste Correspondent whose job will be to report on the myriad ways in which our rulers piss our money away.

You will be a patriotic Englishman or Englishwoman  who loves your country, its customs, traditions and history, and you will see it as the BBC’s duty to celebrate those things.

While that all sound lovely, we will, of course, end up giving the job to a 45 year-old Oxbridge-educated, Guardian-reading left-winger who believes that anyone who doesn’t wholeheartedly endorse all of the bien pensant causes the BBC has been pushing relentlessly for decades is mentally ill.

Best of luck!


  1. Some comments:

    1. Could we have a DG who doesn't favour the Arafat beard-stubble [both Thompson and Dyke sported the bum-fluff and the former chairman Gavyn Davis joined in]? Coupled with their penchant for wearing suits without ties they always looked as if they had been on a binge. The Toby Young shaved-head look should be an immediate disqualifier.

    2. A female DG would be the solution. Boaden and Thompson [Caroline, that is] are obviously a couple of dyed-in-the-wool apparatchiks and would guarantee more of the same. The male George Entwistle appears to have had a series of jobs within the corporation with incomprehensible titles which is a favourable sign for the applicant, but he appears to have no hair on his head and is a Yorkshireman [Ranulph Fiennes never hired males from Ripperland for his expeditions because he thought they were all bastards].

    3. Two outside candidates could be Lord Puttnam [he and Thompson have the same faltering, creepy mannerisms] or Diann Abbott [Lady Helium of Haringay]. Given the whispering Lord's disastrous stewardship of Columbia Pictures 1986-88 which resulted in its sale to Sony and Helium's monumental epistemic arrogance [the difference between what you know and what you think you know] they would trigger the BBC's current downward quality spiral into free-fall and HMG could then flog off the remnants to HBO [with budget intact as the sweetener] and we could get some decent programming. Goodnight Sue Barker and all her little bambi friends.

    The immediate concern for the new DG is the health of Nicholas Witchell, Jeremy Bowen and John Humphries. They all look as if they have been got at by a tribe of Papuan head-shrinkers and are fast losing their human features - and all this while their heads are still attached to their trunks. John Simpson needs to be put on a diet because his flak jacket now only covers 20% of his vital organs.

    My choice for DG would be Orla Guerin [" A nice lass who likes a good laff " Wayne Rooney]. A quick course in make-up and an extensive study of Michael McIntyre's joke book would be a good preparation. She is a devout socialist and pro-Palestinian. So what's not to like? But again, I would not play chess with her on a deserted beach.

  2. Orla Guerin is an Irish woman who left RTE to run as a LABOUR candidate for the European Parliament in 1994. Mark Thompson removed her as the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent in 2005 after Israel had complained about her anti-Israel bias, and sent her to Africa (she has subsequently returned as “a” not “the” Middle East Correspondent, no doubt because terrorists and dictators in the area were running out of cheerleaders in the media). But that isn’t the problem I have with her. As you imply, she has a very distinct “look” – unique, I’d call it – which makes me wonder whether the Arabs she comes into contact with imagine she represents a sort of benchmark for feminine pulchritude in these islands (she will be viewed as British and not Irish, I’m sure). Bad for Britain’s international standing (and frustrating for home-grown journalistic fuglies).

    Her replacement as THE BBC Middle East Correspondent was (and is) Jeremy Bowen, whom you mention. In his early years he sported a luxuriant moustache – and, when he shaved it off, we discovered why: he has a mouth like a turtle’s. Some faces are born to be bearded (mine certainly was). My wife points out that beards are slowly coming back into fashion. We must all hope that Jeremy and Orla are keen readers of GQ.

    As for Witchell, he was an early example of the media’s penchant for wizened little redheads (they have subsequently become standard issue). The problem with them is that, if they lose their hair, they end up looking like they’re suffering from a long-term wasting disease. Witchell was appointed when the Royal Family was in trouble following Diana’s prang: bosses no doubt thought he’d be reporting on the demise of the monarchy. Well, tough luck. Now that the Royals are back in favour, I think the BBC should give Kate and William a break and appoint a “looker” with a sense of humour as Royal Correspondent – but I expect we’ll get Lyse Doucet or David Loyn.