BBC Needs Overhaul


BBC reputation low after Savile, Newsnight trust issues and cock-ups like overpayment of Entwistle. Whole organization in need of a reshape; in terms of brand, structure, funding and content.


TV Newsreaders and reporters moving their arms around. Ridiculous. Over-PC. Huw Edwards the only exception. Forces me onto C4 news / ITV / Sky. Dire.

 World News. When I am abroad as a Brit I look at the TV world news channels available and BBC World News is dominated by washed-up newsreaders (not dissimilar to United/American long haul flights for hostesses – old and haggard because they get more miles done in one go, while the young pretty hostesses do the short haul). Is this the image of Britain we want? Fox, CNN, Al Jazeera etc employ lookers.

 Nepotism. Nothing puts off a license payer more than seeing Dan Snow or Zoe Ball. So many sons and daughters get right of passage in the BBC. Completely wrong.

 Newsnight. Its budget is far too small. Speaking from experience, Richard Watson (Newsnight’s terrorism investigator) relies on an unpaid researcher who sticks her neck out and is in danger because of lack of funds, equipment etc Newsnight needs a revamp and it needs teeth. C4 Dispatches way ahead in so many ways.

 Comedy – really dire period in British comedy. More Have I got news for you and less canned laughter series, which really are not funny at all.

 Content. Producing chef programmes and nonsense like Springwatch on the main TV channels – which are mere time-fillers – shows a complete lack of imagination. Yes, the dramas are good but why not bring up audience numbers by pinching the quality Golden Era US TV programmes – CSI and NCIS – off Channel 5. Get in more sport – cricket, football etc. Rather than wasting cash on copying X Factor with the Voice, buy in popular content and admit the BBC cannot produce excellent content as fillers and is putting its audience off.

 The license fee. I don’t believe that a single, unemployed mum with three kids who lives in a block of flats in Glasgow should have to pay for a TV License but it is her right to watch the telly. The BBC hemorrhages cash on taxis, expenses, too many staff, lawyers, admin, buildings etc BBC TV needs huge cuts – it is no longer competing except in a few areas.

 Having said that, the BBC must make a watershed choice before selling BBC products (like the language courses, DVDs, books etc) – become self-funding or rely on the license fee. If, as it should do, it chooses the former then fine it should make many millions through sales of its branded products. If not then I think it should allow private companies to flourish without their state-supported market advantages.

 East Enders. You could see the mood of the nation improving during the Olympics. Why? We kept watching winners. If you force the nation to watch a depressed bunch of depressing, forlorn characters in a soap like East Enders you end up with a depressed bunch of depressing, whining human beings. Get rid of it. Replace it with a short UK Neighbours at a hundredth of the budget and stick the saved cash into proper drama, educational programmes and investigative programmes.

 The BBC in general doesn’t know how to deal with extremists or how to classify certain groups. For example, Griffin of the BNP got onto Question Time. I dislike both parties vehemently yet the BBC calls the EDL fascists and racists when the BNP are fascists and racists and the EDL is anti Islamist not fascist or racist at all. The PC interviewers often get caught out with their lack of knowledge of extremism. All extremists are as barking as each other but the BBC needs to show that – maybe by showing the similarities between the EDL, BNP, Islamofascists, extremist Jews, extremist Hindus, Trots etc – rather than seeming to be biased (basically because the BBC is mal-informed). Such an important area for the BBC to get right now before the extremism problem snowballs.

 Soft interviews on Radio 4. Humphrys has softened, as have the new intake of interviewers. I watch Sky breakfast news before listening to Radio 4 in the morning and – shocking though it may sound – that is the only place (apart from Eddie Mayer at 5 on Radio 4 and Paxman on Newsnight) where you see Ministers and others deservedly grilled and held to account. Disappointing.

 Radio 5 Live. Dreadful. An irritant. LBC far better – there at least questions are asked. 5 Live is a never-ending loop of PC mush (until the excellent football coverage comes on). Annoying having football match commentaries interrupted by horse races and Scottish goals (I mean, who cares? I could score a goal in a Scottish football match – they are rubbish).

 BBC’s lack of care for army deaths. Watch Mary Nightingale on the ITV news…she’s in tears when our lads come home from Afghanistan in coffins. ITV has won over news viewers from the BBC because of this. These lads are heroes. The BBC should be supporting them far more openly.

 The red Labour backgrounds for BBC News. BBC should reflect the nation not Islington. It should be decent, centrist politically – neither right or left wing. That doesn’t mean the Clarksons or Tony Robinsons don’t have a place; of course they do. But the PC and left wing bias is killing the BBC.

 Programmes like Watchdog are a bit of a joke now. Consumers need protecting without being bored to death.

 Management. Maybe the new boss will sort things out. Old ones seem to be a waste of space.

 Children in Need. Money going to some dodgy places. Lack of accountability.

 UK schools should be using BBC material in class daily. Kids know how to use computers, tablets, phones etc and can learn using the BBC’s creativity. Part of the Education budget should go to the BBC for this purpose.

 BBC Parliament and the Welsh & Scottish language channels are an utter waste of money.

 Lack of coverage of PMQ and other major and relevant political debates. Leads to apolitical nation.

 Business Correspondents lightweight although Peston and Flanders are OK.

 Defence correspondent (Wyatt?) – can’t help but think of her low voice and manly appearance instead of focusing on what she is saying.


 The BBC website. Brilliant. However it should look to quoting more online sources rather than getting stuck with the old bricks and mortar news agencies and papers. BBC iPlayer is excellent however it’s annoying when you’re abroad. Maybe there could be a paid subscription service for Brits abroad whereby they can listen to the footie on the radio / watch what they want on iPlayer by typing in their license number / paying for content. Large US expat audience would tap in just as they listen to Capital FM a lot digitally.

 Newsnight. The excellent core is still there. This needs more investment.

 World Service. Worth a state subsidy.

 Sports Coverage. Excellent. Shame the BBC bids for so little of it. Ashes should be on the BBC. So should British Lions matches and the League Cup.

 Radio 4. (Almost all content excellent especially comedy).

 Radio 5 Sports

 BBC4 educational programmes.

 Good coverage of WW1 and WW2, Holocaust etc. (Should be linked to importance of voting; recognition of freedoms in Britain).

 Dramas (most of them). Profit-making series which the BBC should make more cash out of.

 Admitting the paedophile problem.

 Admitting management problems.

 Self-investigation.

 Having multi-cultural newsreaders has made the UK more tolerant in general – a good thing IMO.

 Kids TV programmes in general (CBBC). One of the presenters has one arm – my kids noticed, and now are totally aware that some people are disabled and some are not. Nice touch.

 Coverage of programmes regarding animal responsibility.

 Coverage of programmes related to dodgy builders – once the blight of Britain.

 Regular coverage of Royal occasions.

 Breaking News coverage. Lee Rigby, Royal Baby etc …excellent. I must admit – for all its failings – breaking news is valid news on the BBC news channel whereas on Sky etc breaking news can mean any damn thing.

 Nature programmes (apart from Springwatch). Brilliant. Attract whole families to watch together. Really positive – especially the computer-generated dinosaur stuff. Amazing.

 Test Match Special. A gem.

 Stephen Nolan. Late night Radio 5. Excellent (only decent thing on Radio 5 apart from the sport).

 Eggheads, Pointless and quiz content – good.

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