BBC News 24's HARDtalk tonight (Friday, 25 October), Tim Sebastian
interviews Lord John Birt, Former Director General of the BBC
He's been one of the most controversial Director Generals of the
to the position in the high season of Thatcherism, Birt is credited
with saving the licence fee which keeps the BBC a public broadcaster.
he also introduced a series of internal reforms - a kind of "permanent
revolution" that critics say reduced programme quality: programme
budgets were drained to pay for commercial adventures, and management
consultants stalked the corridors of Television Centre "re-engineering"
leaving the BBC Lord Birt has been seconded to Downing Street as
a key strategy advisor to the Government. Tim Sebastian asks him
did he save or stultify the BBC?
Notes to Editors
is broadcast on BBC News 24, Monday to Friday at 10.30pm, and is
repeated Tuesday to Saturday at 2.30am.