Friday 4 February 2011, 14:00
Spare a thought for the BBC's newish Director of the World Service Peter Horrocks.
No sooner has he sat down in his seat in Bush House than his paymaster, the Foreign Office, announces an unprecedented cut of 20 per cent in its funding.
No sooner has Mr Horrocks announced the inevitable closures and loss of jobs that have resulted, after tortuous negotiations with the Board of Management, the BBC Trust and the Foreign Office, than his chief lieutenant Craig Oliver announces that he is going to work for the Prime Minister whose Government has just inflicted such pain.
Mr Oliver is the new Andy Coulson or Alastair Campbell, running the media operation at No 10 and perhaps even now preparing to complain about the way his former employers have reported the latest Downing St initiative.
He certainly knows who to ring.
Craig Oliver ran the BBC's election coverage and edited its main TV news programmes, so jaws didn't just drop in the newsroom when news of his political appointment flashed up on screen, they crashed to the floor.
Of course I knew none of this when I interviewed Peter Horrocks in Bush House on Tuesday evening. I thought he looked a little distracted, but put that down to boredom with my questions, which were hardly original, as opposed of course to those which you, dear listener, had sent me.
When I talked to Mr Horrocks I asked him about the statement which William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, had made in the House of Commons, that the BBC had originally proposed that up to 13 languages should go but that the Government had refused permission for such a large cull. Was that true?
Here at Feedback we are eagerly awaiting the appointment of a new Chair for the BBC Trust, the person who is supposed, above all, to protect your interests. As soon as we know who he is (and it most likely will be a he) - we'll try to get them on the programme. Let me know what you'd like to me to ask him.
Roger Bolton is presenter of Feedback
Join the discussion...
Thursday 3 February 2011, 12:52
Tuesday 15 February 2011, 15:02