Rod Liddle

The BBC’s ‘stuff the elderly’ campaign continues

The BBC's 'stuff the elderly' campaign continues
Sue Barker on 'A Question of Sport' (BBC)
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Why does the BBC do it? Needlessly antagonise that rapidly diminishing section of the population which still has a vaguely nice memory of the organisation? The latest move in their 'stuff the elderly' campaign is to drop Sue Barker from A Question of Sport – an enormously admired presenter and easily the best host the programme has had. Why? 'The BBC want to take the show in a new direction,' according to Barker. I bet they do. As far away from their audience as possible. The new presenter will tick at least one diversity box, and people will assume, perhaps rightly, that that is why they were hired. Barker should sue on grounds of ageism and sexism.

Meanwhile, Tim Davie’s first act as Director General was to restore singing to the Last Night of the Proms. This had been another case of the BBC deliberately, maliciously, infuriating its audience for political reasons. There is no other explanation. Outgoing DG Tony Hall’s idiotic obfuscations made that entirely clear. As it was, the Last Night was terrific and the Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska was joyously magnificent. She had been defamed by the 'BBC sources' who claimed she was behind the objections to the jingoistic nature of the songs. She had made no such objections – it was a lie. Good luck to Tim Davie, who has made a fine start. But boy has he got a job on his hands.