Friday, December 3, 2021

Royal hunt

A stretched day at the Mail yesterday, with most of their big names deployed on the apparently crystal clear injustices meted out by the Court of Appeal  in the matter of Ted Verity v Meghan Markle; Piers Morgan, Stephen Glover, Comment, plus four other pieces, including "Questions that should have been heard in court". 

So the pursuit of Amol Rajan, the BBC's republican Media Editor, is limited to a full collection of his past anti-Royal tweets - and the deployment of Dame Jenni Murray: "It makes me uncomfortable that his impartiality continues to be a cause for concern. And if nothing else, he has already broken the number one rule for journalists: ‘Don’t become the story’.

Whamaggedon 2021

I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the production meeting, when they discussed Huw Edwards, where he'd land on a sexy scale, Clive Myrie and Nicholas Witchell. 


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Biter bit

The Mail, under new seven-day editor Ted Verity, has been worrying the ankles of BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan, digging up old pieces he wrote at The Independent, and deploying Janet Street-Porter to be rude about him. 

It's got to him.



Maybe Amol will cover all this in the paper review, when he's next on Today.... 

Brum Brum

Whilst Nadine Dorries may not be sure how long the BBC will last, someone in the DCMS is allowing Auntie to sign new contracts that will run for 22 years.  It's looking for a property developer to help provide a new base in Birmingham... 

The BBC is expanding its operations in Birmingham. Additional BBC Radio and News teams will be moving to Birmingham in the next few years. The BBC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to increase the amount of content it produces in the Midlands, particularly in Birmingham.

The expansion of the BBC in Birmingham coincides with the BBC's current lease at The Mailbox expiring in June 2026, as well as clarity on the BBC's sustainability strategy, the adoption of new hybrid working patterns, and wider technological changes.

The initial term of the contract will run for a period of 22 years plus two optional additional extension period of 12 months each.

Value of contract

£50,000,000

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Fate of You and Yours

Whilst David Blunkett's article accusing Radio 4 bosses of 'taking their audience for granted' gets widespread republication, there seems to be kink in the pipeline of new commissions. 

We were promised news of the successful bidder for the "Consumer Journalism Strand" (aka The You and Yours slot), the Science Magazine Slot (aka Inside Science) and Health Magazine Slot (currently occupied by All In The Mind) in November.  My calendar says it's now December... 

Naming of parts

Garry Richardson's sense of humour, perhaps not the most highly-tuned of his many assets, led him to read Today's horse-racing tips out with lip-smacking relish at 0630 this morning.  "Two for Haydock - at 20 minutes to 1, it's Number 8, Seymour Cox..."

By 0730, the horse's name was corrected to "Seymour Sox".  

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trigger happy

Two entertaining and totally unsubstantiated theories about why an alarm took the Today Programme off-air yesterday. 1) Somebody in the toilets on the same floor thought vaping was undetectable to smoke alarms. 2) The spooks wanted to test out systems before allowing 'C' to visit the studios today. 

Changes ?

The BBC's Media Editor Amol Rajan may be on to a story, and we look forward to it in later bulletins. The former newspaper editor loves analysing journalism, and has brought live Strictly-style judgements to Today, praising the work of fellow presenters at the end of key interviews. His insights into how Royal correspondents interact with Royal households was pivotal in the two part documentary The Princes and The Press.

According to the Mail's Royal editor, Rebecca English (one of the few not to appear in Rajan's programme)  "last night's prime-time offering had seemingly been watered-down at the 11th hour, with editing going on up until the last minute. Plans for an accompanying podcast have also been postponed by the BBC".  Enough material about Royal pressure on journalists for Part 3, surely ?

Monday, November 29, 2021

Five times

Channel 5's creative mojo seems to be frozen in time, as they scour back issues of the Radio Times for new programmes. They revived All Creatures Great and Small, Eggheads - and now comes news of a reboot for Cash In The Attic.

Meanwhile the BBC might be a little frustrated about the Royal Family's focus on Amol Rajan's two part documentary about who's been slagging off whom; Channel 5 ran an equally-gossip-driven hour-long show on Saturday, baldly titled The Queen's Terrible Year, from ITN Productions. 

Still time

The closing date for applications to be the next Chair of Ofcom has been extended from today, to the 13th December. DCMS Select Committee chairman Julian Knight made the suggestion when interviewing Nadine Dorries and Sarah Healey last week, and it seems they listened. 

Other people who read this.......