BBC ‘TO HIRE PR CHIEF TO PLUG LICENCE FEE’: Bill McLoughlin (Express 10/10) said that the BBC had ‘launched a desperate last-ditch attempt to save its own licence fee’ by advertising for a public affairs chief to act as a bridge between the corporation and parliament and devise a new public affairs strategy. Mr McLoughlin, claiming that the new post holder would earn almost £300,000 a year, said the new PR boss would report directly to director general Tim Davie with the goal of persuading MPs of the ‘importance of a reasonable and sustainable licence fee’.
BBC FACES ‘BACKLASH’ OVER ‘OFFENSIVE’ PODCASTS: Paul Revoir (Mail 10/10) reported that the BBC was facing ‘a backlash’ for using licence fee payers’ money to ‘fund lewd and puerile podcasts’ in which much of the content was ‘too offensive to describe’ which were available via the BBC Sounds platform and aimed at young audiences. Mr Revoir said the Conservative MP Peter Bone was among those who had criticised the podcasts, which included ‘foul language, an entire episode dedicated to defecation, sexually explicit descriptions, graphic discussions of people wetting themselves, details of sexually explicit social media messages and crass conversations about the prime minister’s genitals’. He added that the BBC had responded by claiming that the creation of content that was relevant to young listeners was part of the BBC’s public service remit and rightly contained podcasts which ‘discuss relationships and explore real-life issues’.
DAVID DIMBLEBY ‘TO SAVE BBC FROM MALIGN CHAIRMAN’: David Churchill (Mail 10/10) claimed that the veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby was considering applying for the chairmanship of the BBC, allegedly to counter the ‘malign’ impact that the appointment of a figure such as Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, would have on the corporation. Mr Churchill said that Mr Dimbleby – citing Mr Moore’s views on gay marriage and race – said that someone with ‘a more open mind’ was required. He had also said:
‘I still might [apply], depending on who comes forward. Boris Johnson, we know, wants to bring the BBC to heel. We don’t want a chairman who connives in that ambition.’
Pressed on why he opposed Lord Moore, he had said: ‘I was horrified…not because of his political views, but because he hates the BBC.’
He had added: ‘No politicians have ever liked the BBC, the BBC is a thorn in the side of government and that’s its job and therefore it’s always disliked by governments.
‘So when it was announced, and I gather absolutely it was his intention that Johnson was going to put Charles Moore in, at that point… I was going to put my name forward to be chairman.’