Monthly Archives: December 2020


“MAJORITY OBJECT TO BBC LICENCE FEE’: Glen Owen (Mail 20/12) reported that 40% of those questioned in a poll commissioned by the Defund the BBC Campaign wanted the abolition of the BBC licence fee, compares to 37% who supported the £157.50 annual charge.  He said the poll had also found that 15% of respondents  had asserted they would not watch any BBC programmes during Christmas , while 33% said they would only watch the BBC for five hours or less.  In the same report, Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns condemned the BBC’s ‘dismal’ Christmas schedule as ‘dispiriting’, and ‘littered with endless repeats and cheap game shows’.


BBC CORRESPONDENT ACCUSES TRUMP OF ‘CATASTROPHIC’ FAILURE’: Craig Byers (Is the BBC Biased? 19/12) said that the BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant had claimed in a year-end posting for the BBC Radio 4 programme From Our Own Correspondent that Donald Trump’s handling  of the coronavirus outbreak could come to be seen as ‘the most catastrophic domestic policy failure of the past 100 years’.  Mr Byers also noted that Mr Bryant had suggested that male heads of state had handled the pandemic worse than female ones, and had quoted Donald Trump’s America, Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Boris Johnson’s Britain as three example of ‘macho’, swaggering populist surfers who had discovered that the virus ‘could not be sloganed away’.

He concluded: ‘It really is extraordinary how the BBC can claim to be impartial when its senior reporters are given free rein to write and broadcast such one-sided, contentious stuff.’


SURVEY FINDS 74 PERCENT OF BBC COMEDY IS BIASED TO LEFT:   Christopher Hope (£ Telegraph 13/12) said that the BBC had been accused of ‘flagrant bias’,  after a survey of comedy output during November (available here) had found  that 74 per cent of comedy contributors on its main channels were given to left-leaning, ‘woke’-supporting or anti-Brexit comics.  He reported that the survey – conducted by the Common Sense Campaign –

had identified that only two contributors in the 364 slots had openly expressed pro-Brexit or Conservative sympathies. Mr Hope noted that Tim Davie, the BBC director general, had already acknowledged that the BBC’s comedy output was seen to be too one-sided, but reported that a BBC spokesman had responded to the survey by stating that the corporation did not analyse comedy by comparing numbers, but judged it on whether it was funny and whether it reflected ‘ a range of different views’.


BBC BOTANIST: ‘GARDENING IS RACIST’: Harry Howard (Mail 13/12) said that BBC Countryfile presenter James Wong – a botanist – had come under attack after claiming on a series of Twitter posts that British gardening had racism ‘baked into its DNA because of its ‘fetishisation’ of terms such as ‘heritage’ and ‘native’.  Mr Howard noted that Mr Wong had approved a tweet which stated: ‘Gardens are denied their political agency because they too often reveal uncomfortable politics of individual ownership, spatial inequity and unsustainable practices.’


BBC INSERT ‘FINGER-WAGGING PREJUDICE’ INTO VICAR OF DIBLEY:  Allison Pearson (£ Telegraph 9/12), noting that the eponymous character played by actress Dawn French in BBC1’s comedy series The Vicar of Dibley would ‘take the knee’ – in line with Black Lives Matter protocol to acknowledge white racism  –  stated that it was no surprise that ‘some people’ were upset that the Christmas version of the show had shoehorned in references to the BLM movement.  Ms Pearson opined:

‘Deep sigh. Is nowhere safe from this aggressively sanctimonious new religion? Clearly not. Dibley’s vicar, Geraldine Kennedy (Dawn French), takes the knee on the village green while the church organ plays in the background – if you can imagine such a thing. I prefer not to. Getting down on one knee is something Britons used to only do to propose marriage or tie a shoelace. What on earth will the Dibley Parish Council make of this incongruous juxtaposition of gentle English comedy and furious US identity politics? One member, Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock), who is known for his slow wits, inappropriate sexual references (is that even allowed any more?) and for stuttering “no” repeatedly, would probably say, “No, no, no no no…” And I reckon a few million viewers could agree with him.

‘. . . The BBC obviously finds this difficult to comprehend but rather a lot of white, middle-class people pay the licence fee and they quite enjoy seeing their lives represented amid the hourly, finger-wagging lectures from News and Drama about how dreadful this country is and how appallingly prejudiced we all are. The Ten O’Clock News’s recent obituary of Peter Alliss appeared to take a sideswipe at the well-loved golf commentator because the 89-year-old had made a few jokey remarks which didn’t find favour with the po-faced thirtysomething Corbynistas who seem to make up most of the corporations’s staff. Although not its audience, funnily enough.’

BASHIR ACCUSED OF ‘DESPICABLE’ CONDUCT:  Sam Greenhill (Mail 2/12) reported that the BBC’s journalist Martin Bashir – who had conducted the corporation’s 1995 Panorama interview of Princess Diana – had been accused of being ‘despicable’ in the way he behaved in a murder case in 1991. Mr Greenhill said that Karen Hadaway, the mother of a nine-year-old child who had been murdered in the notorious ‘Babes in the Wood’ double killing in 1986, had handed some of her child’s clothes to Mr Bashir after he promised to take them away for DNA testing because police investigation of the murders had been put on hold. Mr Greenhill added that Mrs Hadaway had not heard from Mr Bashir again and that she had since claimed that the clothes had never been returned. Mr Greenhill further reported that there had been speculation that the absence of the clothes had delayed the eventual police resolution of the case by more than 20 years.




BBC ‘PRE-JUDGES DIANA INQUIRY’: Robert Mendick (£ Telegraph 1/12) reported that the BBC had been accused of pre-judging the outcome of its inquiry by retired judge Lord Dyson into the circumstances surrounding the 1995 interview of Princess Diana by Martin Bashir, who had been a BBC Panorama journalist. Mr Mendick explained that lawyers for Allan Waller, who had been head of security for Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, had written to the BBC  accusing Martin Bashir of ‘conspiracy to create an instrument of fraud’ (allegedly, forged bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Lord Spencer). He added that the BBC legal department had responded that it believed the corporation did not bear any liability.  Mr Mendick said that ‘there would be anger’ that the BBC appeared to have made its own findings about the claims before the Dyson inquiry had properly started.