ANDREW NEIL ‘CONSIDERING HIGHER PROFILE BBC ROLE’: Robert Mendick (£ Telegraph 10/9) claimed that former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil had been offered a ‘higher profile than he had before he was taken off air’ by new director general Tim Davie, and that Mr Neil ‘regarded as one of the most forensic political interviewers on television’ was believed to be considering roles on BBC1 and BBC2 as part of an overhaul of the corporation’. Mr Mendick noted that Mr Neil’s former BBC programme had been taken off air in March and then formally axed during the summer as part of budget cuts.
‘ALLEGRA STRATTON FAVOURITE FOR DOWNING STREET HOT SEAT ‘: Jack Maidment (Mail online 10/9) said that former BBC journalist Allegra Stratton, who was currently director of communications for chancellor Rishi Sunak, was believed to be the frontrunner in a selection process to choose who would front new daily White House-style press briefings about government policy from Downing Street. Mr Maidment said that prime minister Boris Johnson was believed to be impressed by Ms Stratton’s work for Mr Sunak, although she had not formally applied form the new post. He added that Downing Street had insisted there would be a ‘full and proper’ selection process for the £100,000+-a-year post.
FORMER RADIO 4 BOSS SLAMS ‘OUT OF CONTROL’ BBC PRESENTERS: Luke May (Daily Mail 10/9) said that Mark Damazer, a former controller of BBC Radio 4, had told an Institute of Economic Affairs webinar that use of tweets and social media by some BBC stars to express political views was ‘out of control’ but had denied that corporation output was not ‘paralysed by wokeness’. It was also reported by the newspaper that BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty could be banned from speaking about Natwest on the programme sofa after it had been disclosed she had ‘moonlighted’ by appearing in a promotional video for the bank.
MAIN ADVOCATE OF WOKE CULTURE ‘IS BBC’: Anne Widdecombe (Express 9/9), discussing the rise of ‘woke’ culture, which , she claimed, was akin to the Spanish Inquisition (minus only the torture), argued that the main exponent was the BBC. She declared:
‘Supposedly impartial, it simply ignores what it does not like and jumps on any passing bandwagon that suits its own metropolitan-elite driven notions, as is evidenced by the enthusiasm with which it has recently embraced the agenda of portraying Britain and her historic figures as rabidly racist.’
Miss Widdicombe noted that Tim Davie, the new BBC director general, had a big part to play in making the country once more a land of liberty and free speech – but said she was not holding her breath that he would.