Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Old bloke on naughty step

Transcript of part of the Today programme, where Jonathan Dimbleby trails Any Questions, 29th May 2015, published by the BBC Trust today.

Jonathan Dimbleby: And Justin, I just want to add a football, a personal football, a footnote not football – well it’ll turn out to be a football… 

Justin Webb: Not some kind of confession is it? 

Jonathan Dimbleby: Well it’s going to hit me in the face I think probably– I’m not going to be with you next Friday morning. I haven’t resigned, I haven’t been sacked - yet. But when Any Questions? goes on air, I shall be leading a fifty kilometre night-time walk through London to raise funds for the cancer charity we set up after the death of my father fifty years ago. If you want to support our work, our walk, you can find out more online – Dimbleby Cancer Care. Er, now I will be sacked won’t I? 

Justin Webb: Er, I won’t answer that actually Jonathan… 

Jonathan Dimbleby: …No I think you’d better not, otherwise you could be… Eight o’clock this evening, we’re on air anyway. 

Justin Webb: …exactly, but I will support you privately at least.

Jonathan Dimbleby: You’re a good man, thanks.

There's a pre-meditated though privately-concocted breach of BBC guidelines. Surprising, cheeky-boy Dimbleby, 70, (Charterhouse, the Royal Agricultural College and UCL) will not be sacked. Apparently a letter from the Director of Editorial Policy, a talking-to by Director of Radio Production and the 'head of the department responsible for the programme's production' are sufficent. [BTW, you Trust sticklers for accuracy, I think it's technically "Controller of Radio Production and Deputy Director of Radio"].

What, pray, will happen to the journalist from BBC Urdu, who thought she'd seen other outlets report a Royal death that was actually a rehearsal and tweeted the world ?  That, too, is deemed a serious breach by the Trust. The disciplinary process continues.

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