Ben Delicious writes from London: Happy faces all round at the BBC. The new Director General has been picked. And he’s a leftie. Even before the police have finished investigating the paedophile network that was run for decades within the Corporation by Jimmy Savile, the formerly famous Beeb presenter, the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, has unveiled the new DG whom he lovingly called an outsider and an insider, all in one.
Step forward Lord Tony Hall, former head of BBC News, who is currently running the Royal Opera House. Overly excited Lord Patten announced at a press conference where he introduced Tony to the public that he, Tony, will be invaluable to the BBC with his background in news while it is busy rebuilding its reputation in that area and clawing back the trust of its audiences. (What reputation, Chris, and what trust are you talking about?)
In case you are not aware of Lords Hall’s background in the BBC, he started there as a trainee many years ago and rose to become head of news and current affairs at a crucial time for the Labour party in 1996, running it till 2001 when he threw his hat into the ring for the post of the new director general and was beaten to it by Greg Dyke. (Yes, that is the famous Greg who said that the BBC was ‘hideously white’.) In effect Lord Hall, or simply Tony as he was known then, oversaw the news on the BBC in the days when the Labour government was busy dismantling good old Britain, imposing its hideous, sorry Greg, politically correct agenda on the nation, with all the nasty trimmings. Did the BBC report about it? Nope, it applauded the comrades from New Labour, with Mr Hall, as he was known then, clapping louder than most others.
Anyway, Tony walked away from the BBC and landed a job running the Royal Opera House, spending ten glorious years there, transforming it into what it is today. It was on his shift that heavy metal bands played in the ROH and modernised versions of classical operas got the thumbs down.
Missing the delicious irony of his hasty appointment, Lord Hall, or Baron Hall of Birkenhead, acknowledged that it had been a really tough time for the Corporation but that in his opinion it would get through it. (Well no s..t, Tony, I wonder how you came to that idea?) But he didn’t stop there, oh no. He then called a spade a spade and said that the BBC was an essential part of the United Kingdom and that he was looking forward to his new task immensely. In case you’re wondering why Lord Tony got so excited, his salary would be three times larger than at his current post, reaching nearly half a million smackers. What’s there not to like, eh?