LINEKER ‘RACE-BAITS’ OVER SPORT QUIZ: Rebecca Davison (Mail online 17/9)said BBC football presenter Gary Lineker had caused a furore when he had tweeted that Alex Scott, a former England women’s team footballer, had been confirmed as Sue Barker4’s replacement as host of the BBC1 quiz A Question of Sport. He had said:
‘Congratulations and good luck to @AlexScott on being the new host for Question Of Sport. Smart, knowledgeable and perfectly qualified for the role. Oh… and if you have a problem with Alex getting the job, you might just be part of the problem.’
Ms Davison suggested that Mr Lineker appeared to be shrugging off a warning from new director general Tim Davie about such activity on social media, perhaps because as a part-time football presenter, he was not bound by the new rules. She added that some on twitter had reacted by suggesting that Mr Lineker was attempting to ‘race-bait’ people for an argument. Ms Davison reported that a source in the BBC had told her that Ms Davison – whose roots were in Jamaica and Ireland – was being lined up as Ms Barker’s replacement not because the corporation was trying to be ‘woke’ but because of her knowledge of sport and experience of broadcasting.
DEFUND THE BBC CAMPAIGN PUSHES FOR LICENCE FEE REDUCTION: Ellie Cambridge (Sun 17/9) said that a ‘Defund the BBC’ campaign had raised £60,000 in donations and 40,000 supporters, had three main aims: to show viewers how they could legally cancel their television licences; to call for the decriminalisation of non-payment; and to lobby for the licence fee to be reduced at the BBC’s mid-Charter review in 2022. She noted that the organisation was being led by Brexit campaigners Darren Grimes and Calvin Robinson, and believed that the corporation’s Brexit-related coverage portrayed supporters as ‘thick, racist and old’.
BBC ‘TREATS VIEWERS WITH CONTEMPT’: Leo McKinstry (Sun 15/9) claimed that the chief talent of the BBC – which once made great programmes – was now alienating the British public with extravagance and attachment to wokeness, and that the people who paid for this ‘vast monolith’ and self-serving bureaucracy were often treated with contempt by the corporation. He argued that this was clear in the figures for the pay for BBC presenters revealed in the BBC annual report which showed that 75 of them received salaries of more than £150,000. Mr McKinstry said that the pay figures made a mockery of the BBC’s decision to end free licences for the over-75s. He also noted that the annual report showed that the headcount had gone up in the public arm over the past year by 300 to 19,500 and the number of senior managers had increased to 253.
BBC DEFENDS ‘KILL WHITEY’ JOKE: Jack Wright (Mail 17/9) said that the BBC had come under fire for giving airtime to ‘Marxist’ comedians who had joked about ‘killing whiteness’ after new director general Tim Davie had vowed to ‘take a sledgehammer’ to left-wing comedy bias at the corporation. He reported that black comedian Sophie Duker – on the BBC2 programme New World Order – had made ‘controversial statements’ about white power and racism in a segment of the programme discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. He added that Ms Duker had called whiteness ‘a capitalist structure’ and then made jokes about ‘killing whitey’, had stated that ‘white power is Trump tower’, and that capitalism ‘hurt black people’. Mr Wright said that radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer had tweeted,’ This is horrible, it’s not just unfunny, it’s incoherent Marxist gobbledegook’. He added that the BBC had commented that the content was ‘within audience expectations, for a post-watershed satirical programme.
NEW HOST “LINED UP FOR QUESTION OF SPORT’: Bryony Jewell (Mail 17/9) reported that a BBC source had claimed that 35-year-old Alex Scott, who was a former player in the England women’s football team, was being lined up to replace 64-year-old former tennis star Sue Barker as host of the BBC1 quiz A Question of Sport. Ms Jewell quoted the source as saying that she was ‘genuinely the best woman for the job’. She said that former BBC presenters had accused the corporation of both ageism and sexism.