Monday, February 13, 2017


The BBC's James Purnell will find at least thee items in his digital cuttings service this morning from the Mail - courtesy of Peter Hitchens, T E Utley and Andrew Pierce.

Hitchens and Utley are getting upset in advance at the forthcoming culture fest Civilisations, inspired by the seminal Kenneth Clark series, Civilisation, from way back in Lord Hall's teenage years, 1969. Despite the fact that Clark himself admitted it should have been called Western Civilisation, both dislike the idea of pluralist views. For Mail columnists, civilisation starts with The Veneral Bede, through Shakespeare, Constable, the Ealing Comedies, the stroke play of Ted Dexter, the sculptures of Henry Moore (But Not The Ones With Holes In Them) through to Downton Abbey. It also includes contemporary photographic essays on the almost-uncovered female form (cf this morning: "Peek-a-boob! Braless Lady Gaga flashes flesh and new body art in outrageous crop-top and kinky boots on Grammy Awards red carpet").

Mr Purnell must slightly regret taking ownership of Civilisations, in his new BBC role as purveyor of "Expertise without elitism" (this all in a self-effacing blogpost entitled "Reinventing The BBC"). Civilisations is very much Lord Hall's baby, first mooted in March 2014. It took a little time for his tv operatives to realise he was serious, but now the ten episodes are finally heading for post-production; six from Simon Schama, two from Mary Beard, and two from David Olusoga.  We expect one episode to be entitled Renaissance and another The Human Body.

Now it's over to Director of Content Charlotte Moore to schedule them for maximum impact, heading to Christmas/New Year. Move over, Mrs Brown's Boys.

Meanwhile, Andrew Pierce simply teases James Purnell about fake news and Photoshop.

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