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24 September 2014
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25.10.02

BBC NEWS


HARDtalk: John Birt


On 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 BBC.


Appointed to the position in the high season of Thatcherism, Birt is credited with saving the licence fee which keeps the BBC a public broadcaster.


But 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" the corporation.


Since 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


HARDtalk is broadcast on BBC News 24, Monday to Friday at 10.30pm, and is repeated Tuesday to Saturday at 2.30am.


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