A piece by Allison Pearson in today’s Telegraph:
Only seven days into 2021 and already we have a strong contender for least surprising survey result of the year. Nearly half of Britons think that the BBC no longer represents their values. Asked how good the corporation was at reflecting their point of view, 48 per cent said “fairly bad” or “very bad”, against 29 per cent who said “fairly well”.
And, lo, there came the Beeb’s coverage of the final stages of Brexit. Children’s choirs across the land performed popular British songs from Bobby Shafto to All You Need is Love. Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis donned Geri Halliwell’s iconic Union Jack dress and giggled: “Hey, maybe things outside the EU won’t be so bad after all.” The spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks over the Thames featured well-loved faces and landmarks to convey a sense of national unity and dawning possibility as we became a sovereign nation once again…
Well, a licence fee-payer can dream, can’t she? Obviously, none of the above appeared on our screens, although they may well have proved popular. More popular, certainly, than the Black Lives Matter fist that featured in Sadiq Khan’s taxpayer-funded firework extravaganza. Instead, Eeyorish remainers, oops, sorry, reporters, went looking for evidence that, despite our surprisingly good trade deal, there would be major hold-ups at Dover. Imagine the poor dears’ distress when freight was seen to be moving smoothly and there were no queues on the M20 to gloat over.
Of this extremely promising start, we heard nothing. If there had been any problems, I guarantee camera crews would have been camped out at the roadside 24/7 interviewing peed-off Pierres.
Nor did the BBC deign to put Boris’s New Year message on its website. Lucky he’s not the national leader or anything.
It isn’t long since Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, said he wanted to bring in “a better balance of satirical targets, rather than constantly aiming jokes at the Tories”. Perhaps Tim should have a word with Nish Kumar.
On Graham Norton’s New Year’s Eve special, the “comedian” called Nigel Farage “a sack of meat brought to life by a witch’s curse”, adding: “Now we have finally completed Brexit, I predict we will have a taste for leaving things and will vote to leave more stuff, starting with the continent of Europe, then the United Nations and finally the Earth.”
Funny to think that “Busy Lizzie” Truss, the International Trade Secretary, has managed to secure 63 trade deals in two years. The UK seems to to be joining more than leaving.
Here’s my new year reduction: if BBC glums continue to fight a bitter rearguard action against Brexit (and, incidentally, against a big chunk of its audience), we know who will have the last laugh. And it won’t be Frankie Boyle.
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