Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I wonder which Kim Shillinglaw went to the interview for the post of Controller TV Channels ? There are at least two. One is 'plain-speaking', eg "Ten o'clock is a place where BBC2 should show its knickers a bit" and, "I grew up abroad, in Cameroon and then Spain – partly due to my parents' work, and partly it was shaggy 70s parenting".

The other trumpets new commissions in an odd machine-like prose, as we've noted before here and here, and even as recently as last week: “Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic and I'm thrilled to be updating it for the next generation of viewers. With new technological advances making for an even more exciting and immersive experience, this is a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment that BBC Two excels at.”

Either that's Kim herself, or perhaps Andrew Francis of the BBC Television Press Office pushing the buttons of the speakak generator - with the Ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition Preventer toggle left unpressed (or off). (See what I did there ?).

There may have been a third Kim - a bit of a control-freak, perhaps monitoring the delivery of Top Gear Mark II a little too closely. The Guardian reports DG Lord Hall saying Kim had "done a great job", but tellingly adding "“Charlotte [Moore] is an an extraordinarily creative talent. I have complete confidence in her making sure we have something really sparky coming out of Top Gear.”

And there was certainly a Kim not made for these BBC times. In August 2014, three months into her role as Controller BBC2 and BBC4, she told The Guardian "Let's not spend more time than we have to on the internal workings. Let's not endlessly reorganise."

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