I did consider throwing my hat in the ring for the role as BBC DG. I would have been very cheap, live locally and whilst I have never actually worked for the BBC, or indeed any broadcaster, I feel steeped in the BBC culture, having attended the closest secondary school to BBC TV Centre and consequently having been friends with the sons of one of the Directors of Blakes 7 and that bloke who played the rich guy in ‘To The Manor Born’. So no one can deny that I know of what I speak and here are my ten top tips for the future of the BBC that form the basis of my manifesto…
1. My first act would be to resign and make the BBC Director General role a rotating one. It worked very well for Have I Got News For You after the Angus Deayton resignation scandal in 2002, so why not after this one? Jeremy Clarkson, Jo Brand, Kirstie Wark, Bruce Forsyth and Martin Clunes could rotate. A perfect solution and a great defensive strategy as it would give the Daily Mail a moving target. And no expensive payoffs needed.
2. BBC Bulletins will mostly comprise of footage of the news happening – as opposed to BBC journos interviewing each other about what they think is happening, what the mood is on the streets of Scarborough tonight and so on. Show, don’t tell.
3. Tear up the contract that says the BBC has to show a second series of the Voice. Honestly, slow motion car crash, no point.
4. Renew Doctor Who for an un-cancellable 50 year run. My Godson Joshua will make a perfect 18th Doctor by the way, although he is concerned that in the 1976 episode, the Deadly Assassin it is clearly stated there can only be 12 regenerations. So better re-dub that episode. If George Lucas can re-edit so can the BBC.
4. Bring back Top Of The Pops on Thursdays at 7pm. I am now realising that this is starting to betray my age, so let’s get less retro.
5. Manufacture cheap digital radios that can only receive BBC 6 Music. I know my radio has a way of tuning to other stations but after two years, have had little motivation to tune and now have lost the instruction manual.
6. Do not ever, under any circumstances attempt to remake Dad’s Army. Exhibit 1: the ‘re-imagined’ Reggie Perrin.
7. Don’t leave Wood Lane. No ‘Media City’ can ever replace decades of history and the Blue Peter garden.
8. Controller of BBC1: Russell T Davies, Controller of BBC2: Jools Holland, Controller of BBC3: Lauren Laverne, Controller of BBC4: Mark Gatiss. Head of BBC Radio/ Audio: Danny Baker. Head of Online: Stephen Fry.
9. Ask the contestants on Eggheads to give much shorter answers. This is the age of twitter after all.
10. Be proud to be the BBC. It is the envy of the world and those who would seek to undermine it know that you would never launch a vendetta against them, in the way they have against you. Without the BBC’s freedom to innovate there would be no online catchup and digital television would have stalled after Ondigital. There would also be no Top Gear, but nobody’s perfect.