Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

How the BBC can achieve real diversity

Exciting news from the BBC, where every employee has just received a flyer from the Director-General, Lord Hall, informing them about the creation of a new post — Director of Creative Diversity. Should they all apply? Certainly, when I found out about it, I thought I might throw my hat in the ring. I’d immediately employ some heterosexual weathermen and maybe a white presenter or reporter on the London regional news programmes — and then make Dominic Cummings the head of current affairs, if he has any spare time.

That would introduce a little diversity into New Broadcasting House, I think. I might also impel Radio 4 to ration the number of programmes in which women moan about stuff, suggesting that a more diverse approach would be to have cheerful women sprinkled around the output; and maybe even, on rare occasions, have a programme presented by a chap. I’d also remove that woman from The News Quiz, the one who never ever says anything funny but just responds to every question with a fatuous slice of Corbynista propaganda, leaving the audience in slightly embarrassed silence. I don’t know her name, but I think she’s gay — although very much not in the old meaning of the term.

There is so much one could do to improve the BBC and make it more creatively diverse. The corporation has made great strides over the past decade or so to improve both its gender balance and racial balance on screen, and last year Ofcom reported (in a review of peak output) that among younger presenters, women comprised 50 per cent of the total and that presenters or actors from black backgrounds now exceeded, in percentage terms, that of the general population — indeed, was close to double that of the general population.

So the BBC’s diversity in these necks of the woods seems to be on track.

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