Finally! Somebody at the BBC has done what most of the higher echelons at Broadcasting House have been itching to do for the last week and cried “Foul!” at Michael Grade for his shock move to ITV.
News god John Simpson, a regular voice of calm reason, has candidly stated his opinion on the situation in the latest issue of the Beeb’s in-house magazine, Ariel, beliving that working for the Beeb is very much a state of mind:
“It’s because we don’t have to make concessions to the market. It’s because we believe that quality is the only thing that really matters. It’s because we don’t have to apologise for what we do. Let’s hope our next chairman will understand this, and share the feeling, and not find his or her attention wandering at the key moment as Michael Grade’s did.”
It does seem that the likes of DG Mark Thompson and his colleagues have been walking round with a rictus grin on their faces, uttering the phrase: “Everything’s fine” like a mantra and if they say it often enough, it’ll be true…
While the situation at the BBC is far from disastrous, it is about time that somebody voiced what was on everybody’s mind - in short, that what Grade did wasn’t a paricularly nice thing to do. He could have waited until after Christmas at the very least.