Saturday 3 September 2022

A great big fat frightened rat

BBC presenters: What's behind the large number leaving?

A large number of presenters have left the BBC in recent months - either by force or by choice. Their departures have invited some uncomfortable headlines and questions for the corporation in the process.

And yet, it is hard to pinpoint a single driving force behind the recent exodus, because there's a whole host of reasons for it.

One reason is that the BBC can't compete in a digital world. There are people making videos in their kitchen doing a better job.

Steven Barnett, professor of communications at the University of Westminster, says: "Because the BBC was forced - partly through a campaign driven by a self-interested press - to reveal top salaries, its commercial competitors know exactly where to pitch their offer.

And those BBC competitors know who they want, who they don't want and why, so the 'talent' pool drains away.

Dorothy Byrne, former Head of News & Current Affairs at Channel 4 News, says: "Key journalistic talent now leave because they believe rightly that the BBC's erroneous interpretation of regulation regarding impartiality prevents it from telling viewers and voters the truth. The BBC has always been a timorous beastie. Now it's a great big fat frightened rat."


decnine said...

It's hard to detect evidence of any journalistic 'talent' on the Today programme. This morning they kept alternating between Serena Williams' retirement and Gorbachev's funeral. All 'conveyed' in Amol Rajan's high speed soto voce slovenly diction monotone.

Sam Vega said...

The BBC never gets called "Auntie" any more, does it? A national institution, middle class, "decent", fundamentally conservative, essentially uninvolved in personal emotional life, giving advice even if it was uncalled-for because it genuinely thought it knew best.

There's actually a lot that is commendable there, but the BBC has worked very hard to shrug off that image. So Auntie is now an embarrassment: dressed like a desperate whore, trying hard to engage with "yoof", keen to prove her working-class credentials and regional and overseas heritage, and - worst of all - endlessly boring on with fashionable political campaigns and virtue-signalling.

When we had a unified culture, Auntie did just fine, and was usually welcome, even if we sniggered about her behind her back. But now our country is fragmented, and Auntie played her part in achieving that. So out you go, Auntie, and see if the free market wants what you are selling.

Mark Wadsworth said...


Scrobs. said...

We only watched Her Maj's Platinum thing as we like her, but other than that, once the dear old gal has popped her clogs, we're just cancelling the BBC and they can whistle for their unearned cash.

With prats like Lineker piddling his crap all over normal citizens, they've gone too far with normal citizens Chez Scrobs.

A K Haart said...

decnine - I don't watch but from your description and years of experience I can tell what it's like - just not good enough.

Sam - looking back, the BBC tried to do too much. Maybe it should have kept away from entertainment and shaped its output round what was once a laudable desire for self-improvement.

Mark - yes.

Scrobs - yes that have gone too far and shown us that they don't actually like normal citizens.

dearieme said...

I hope that Ms Truss will announce that to help the public cope with the cost of living crisis the TV licence is abolished. And the BBC will be sold off to help HMG raise capital for the Treasury.

Doonhamer said...

The best thing about the BBC at the moment is what we have to call its "Back Catalogue.'
Meaning stuff that they have not wiped, erased, censored, from before 15 or 20 years ago.
That is gold.
Handcock, Goons, Fawltey, Horne, Navy Lark, Ascent of Man, Civilisation, Dibnah, Weir's Way, Trumpton, Clangers, Old Grey Whistle, Jools Holland, etc. etc.
They belong to the people of UK, they paid for it.
Not to some BBC Chief Executive who struck lucky in a fire sale.

johnd2008 said...

I have been away from the UK for 6 years now and must confess that I do not really miss it.I watch a lot of amateur stuff on Youtube and think that the production values are the equal of a lot of the professional stuff.Having said that ,New Zealand TV is truly dreadful with constant inane commercials every five minutes and breaks in programmes to tell us about programmes yet to come.They have not yet descended to the absolute depths of BBC wokeness yet,but are heading that way.

Tammly said...

Accidentally overheard R4's James Naughty giving his biased and uninformed opinions on the presidency of Donald Trump this morning. Was so outraged and affronted, my other half threatened to turn the radio off if I didn't shut up!

A K Haart said...

dearieme - it ought to be an easy win too.

Doonhamer - it's surprising how good some of it was, but I suppose that's what we remember rather than the dross.

John - I think I'd miss the UK, but only some aspects. I wouldn't miss the cities, woke culture, media or politics.

Tammly - I couldn't listen to that kind of thing either. Hostility to Trump comes across as very much a holier-than-thou social attitude rather than anything specific.

dearieme said...

I have no memory of ever watching TV when we lived in NZ. I must ask my wife whether that can be right.

When we lived in Oz there were two TV shows I remember enjoying. One was the excellent Bush Tucker Man and the other was a late evening current affairs show made watchable by the outspoken curmudgeon who "anchored" it. He called himself "Robbo". I've no idea what the show was called.

I think we must also have watched the news sometimes when we lived in Queensland - I remember the cockroaches liked to join us.