Monday, 16 September 2013

BBC: Losing the Plot

Last year I met somebody who had worked at the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol. I enquired how a producer with whom I had worked on a programme in the 1990s was. ‘Oh, she was made redundant’, came the reply. Now I need not tell you that the Natural History Unit has been and remains to be singularly successful. But then we read that in addition to the massive pay-offs to top BBC executives (I have, incidentally, never discovered what ‘executives’ actually do) the Head of Human Resources (i.e. the Personnel Officer) has been paid £320,000 per annum. Need I say more by way of explaining why the BBC is imploding.

And do not risk mentioning the science coverage to me. An explosion of expletives is the likely outcome. The last Horizon I managed to watch the whole way through was a really awful programme on dinosaurs and the extraction of ancient DNA. I pitied the scientists who had taken part in this repetitive, dumbed down coverage with a story that flew off at every available tangent. The science flagship was holed below the water line some years ago. The original producers who launched the series in 1964 must be watching from somewhere the BBC’s treatment of science with horror.