Friday, March 20, 2015

Dear Anne

Ah, bulk purchasing power. The Edinburgh TV Festival is never really a surprise, and the BBC is always likely to send people. I'm not calling for them to be put up in a hostel, but you'd think they might negotiate a deal for, say, a dozen rooms in one hotel at a discount.

In the latest published expenses, Creative Director Alan Yentob was at The George for two nights, at a total of £498 (and he booked direct, which is not 'best practice").

Comedy supremo Shane Allen stayed three nights at Ten Hill Place, Edinburgh, for £546 (He also claimed entertainment expenses of £1230 over the quarter).  Myfanwy Moore, of Comedy Production was also there - three nights for £600. She had to endure one night in the Mercure for £270. Kim Shillinglaw, Controller BBC2, was in the Mercure for two nights at a total of £462.50.

Radio 1's Ben Cooper stayed at The Bonham, Edinburgh, an "art-filled boutique hotel featuring chic rooms, a high-end restaurant and free WiFi." for £211.50. Lisa Opie, Controller Business, Knowledge and Daytime TV, had two nights in the Nira Caledonia ("Our boutique hotel in Edinburgh Scotland, blends Bohemian chic with contemporary comfort") for £341.67.

BBC4's Cassian Harrison stayed at the Malmaison, Edinburgh, for £179.17, as did Damian Kavanagh, Controller What's Left Of BBC3 - three nights for £567.51 (a better room than Cassian's ?). Natalie Humphreys, from TV Factual, stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton - two nights for £398.33. Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC1 was also there  - two nights for £415.

Drama boss Ben Stephenson travelled to Edinburgh, but there's no sign of a hotel booking. Perhaps he slept on someone's floor.

Elsewhere, some bits and bobs that caught my eye...

  • Philip Bernie, Head of TV Sport, is a man of transport certainties.  On 15 occasions he cites the taxi as "the best way" or "the quickest way" to reach his destination. Many other BBC staff time their journeys with a view to using public transport.  Phil claims for a meal at "Illegal Jacks" in Edinburgh, and a group dinner at the Railway Inn, Meols (part of The Hungry Horse chain).

  • Roux Joubert, General Manager, Platforms, took eight people to dinner at Zero Degrees, Reading "Hip beer emporium on 3 airy floors, plus European eats" for £200.

  • Leighton Davies walked the talk as Director, Financial Centre of Excellence, with a £10.09 claim for meal with overnight at a Wetherspoon's in Ealing. 'Dr' Mark Harrison, Controller Production, BBC North, followed the new party line with two meals purchased at Waitrose, Westfield and three at M&S Westfield.

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