BBC Oxbridge snobs stop radio star presenting Today programme ‘because he is an Essex boy’

reports the Mail on Sunday:

BBC Five Live’s award-winning presenter Peter Allen has been snubbed for a job fronting Radio 4’s flagship Today programme “because he is too much of an Essex boy”.

Friends of Allen – who left school at 18 to work for his local newspaper and did not go to university – believe he is a victim of “Oxbridge snobs” who control the BBC.

According to a friend, Allen was rejected at the last minute because:

He has a blokey, populist style, so the liberals who run the BBC probably assume wrongly that he is a Tory. He is in fact fiercely independent.

Why is that not a surprise?

See below for an audio clip of Allen with fellow presenter Jane Garvey as she reminisces about the morning after the night before when Tony Blair deposed John Major at the general election in May 1997.

Thank you to Biased BBC reader Lurker in a Burqua for the link.

Biased BBC reader DR spotted this smug little message at Urban75

*, hangout of sundry lefties, ‘activists’ and ‘edgy’ wannabes, among others:

I has a new job!

For the next three months, anyway. I will be helping shape the views of middle England on the Jeremy Vine programme on Radio Two.

Most importantly, it means that I will have all weekends and evenings free, and will be able to attend more Urban events. Hurrah!

I hope the BBC will identify this twerp and ram home the message that their tellytax funded role is to educate, entertain and inform, not to “shape the views of middle England” or anyone else.

Another fine testament to the quality of BBC recruitment and their successful candidates.

* Registration (followed by manual approval) required just to view.

New Nigella fake: She takes us all for a ride with bogus bus trip to the shops

reports Saturday’s Daily Mail:

First her kitchen turned out not to be her kitchen. Now it seems Nigella Lawson’s trip to the shops on a London bus for her cookery show wasn’t quite what it seemed either….

Producers have admitted that they hired the bus Miss Lawson rode on, filling it with extras pretending to read the newspapers as normal passengers.

So while Miss Lawson, 47, was telling viewers to “take the express way to deliciousness”, she was not travelling on public transport at all. Instead she was being filmed by a crew in studio conditions.

“We chose to hire a bus for the day of filming rather than disrupt customers on a normal bus route,” admitted a BBC spokesman.

It’s one thing to build a replica set of Nigella’s kitchen for easier filming and less disruption of her household, but it’s entirely another to make a meal of taking a bus to the shops when it turns out the bus had been hired for the day and filled with actors posing as ordinary passengers!

This latest BBC hypocrisy and fakery will be even worse if it turns out it was cooked up after Nigella was criticised for “Her habit of taking seemingly endless taxis to Waitrose and upmarket delicatessens” as the Mail reports.

If the BBC is unable to film a short programme segment of a bus trip without unduly disrupting fellow travellers why did they bother with the pretension of a Nigella bus trip in the first place?

Read the rest of Alison Boshoff’s article for more details.

Following on from the scandal of CBBC Newsround’s awful 9/11

guide, first covered by Biased BBC back in June (see halfway down),

Dame Pauline Neville-Jones former BBC governor Dame Pauline Neville-Jones (a formidable lady with an immense record of public service at the highest levels) is quoted in today’s Daily Mail, BBC’s Newsround fed youngsters Al Qaeda propaganda, claims ex-spy chief, with all her guns blazing.

Speaking about the latest version of Newsround’s 9/11 explanation, a BBC concoction arrived at after a short sharp campaign led by Biased BBC with help from fellow bloggers and journalists, Dame Pauline says it’s even worse now:

It still says it’s all America’s fault, and now for daring to be involved in the Middle East at all.

It wasn’t ‘people linked to’ al Qaeda who killed 3,000 people that day, it was al Qaeda itself. Osama bin Laden even boasted of the attacks.

Is the BBC really saying that if you’re ‘unhappy’ it’s quite normal behaviour to murder people?

Is the BBC so naive as to take al Qaeda’s propaganda at face value? Or is there something more sinister at work here?

Daily Mail journalist James Chapman also quotes Dame Pauline saying:

Al Qaeda make the manifestly false claim that America is part of an enormous Jewish-Christian conspiracy to dominate the world and kill Muslims. This is no secret – Osama bin Laden has said as much himself.

We know that in the long run the struggle against terrorists is a battle for hearts and minds.

How can we expect to win when our national broadcaster is parroting their line to our own children?

There is only one set of people who are ever to blame for terrorist attacks and that’s the perpetrators themselves.

This very much reflects the view of Biased BBC – that our national broadcaster, paid for through a compulsory levy on the British viewing public, ought to serve our collective national interest – the interest of free people everywhere – when it comes to reporting on terrorism and covering terrorist atrocities.

Describing the BBC as a “national treasure”, Dame Pauline went on:

…from time to time I have found myself asking questions about BBC’s attitude to terrorism. It even orders its journalists not to use the word terrorist.

Mark Byford, the BBC’s head of journalism, responding to Dame Pauline’s complaint said that the current text is “clear and concise”. We’ve heard that before: during Biased BBC’s last campaign on this issue, Sinead Rocks, Newsround’s Editor, wrote on the BBC Editors Blog that “we stand by the more recent version”, before push came to shove from Biased BBC and its friends, followed by the BBC caving in and changing their 9/11 article to its current less than ideal version.

The annoying thing is that Sinead Rocks and the BBC in general have got away, so far, with so much obfuscation of the truth about CBBC Newsround’s 9/11 guide – neither Dame Pauline nor the Daily Mail seem to be aware of the real text of the original CBBC Newsround Why did they do it? page:

A lot of countries don’t like the way America gets involved with arguments in the Middle East.

They think that the US unfairly helps Israel in its conflict with Palestine. Israel and Palestine have been arguing for many years over who owns what land.

America is seen to be sympathetic towards Jewish Israelis, so some Arabs and Muslims think America does not like or understand them.

…an explanation that was online, misinforming and corrupting British children for five years, from 2002 until June 2007, when it was first complained about here at Biased BBC.

Lack of time prevented me from writing an intended summary of the recent CBBC Newsround 9/11 events, setting out the unsatisfactory explanations and obfuscations of the BBC and Sinead Rocks. With Dame Pauline’s stature and influence coming to bear on the BBC there may yet be a chance to write a timely recap of events with a more satisfactory ending than had been foreseen. Let’s hope so.

A handy list of Biased BBC’s Newsround 9/11 articles:

June 18th, 2007: Natalie’s first report (see halfway down);

June 24th, 2007: Natalie reports an update at CBBC Newsround;

Sept. 12th, 2007: Following Drudge Report publicity, Biased BBC re-joins the fray, the BBC appears to respond positively;

Sept. 12th, 2007: Our record of the 9/11 guide that the BBC removed and replaced with a new page that turned out to be temporary;

Sept. 13th, 2007: Sinead Rocks infamous non-apology apology, misleading people, provoking many questions and a request for a full explanation;

Sept. 13th, 2007: Sinead Rocks responds to Biased BBC’s request, leading to yet more questions about gaps and obfuscations in her explanation. The CBBC Newsround 9/11 Guide that had apparently been removed is put back unchanged;

Sept. 14th, 2007: A Biased BBC megapost – setting out the whole story, the unanswered questions and double-dealing of the BBC, kicking off a campaign supported by Biased BBC readers, many fellow bloggers and mainstream newspaper journalists;

Sept. 16th, 2007: A result. Sinead Rocks and the BBC cave in, changing the 9/11 guide to its current version, leaving many questions about the BBC’s actions, behaviour and accountability unanswered;

Sept. 17th, 2007: Screenshot and full text of the original even more offensive version of CBBC Newsround 9/11 guide ‘Why did they do it’ page, retrieved from Internet Archive, after being online at the BBC for five years until June 2007.

Please do read the rest of James Chapman’s excellent article. Please also ensure that this new development in Biased BBC’s campaign highlighting CBBC Newsround’s 9/11 coverage receives the attention it deserves.

Thank you to an anonymous Biased BBC reader for the Daily Mail link.

Open thread – for comments of general Biased BBC interest:

Please use this thread for BBC-related comments and analysis. Please keep comments on other threads to the topic at hand. N.B. this is not (and never has been) an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or use as a chat forum. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog. Please scroll down to find new topic-specific posts.

Brown Again!

Well, what do you know? There’s a crisis in Burma. To whom can we turn? Someone brave, strong, fresh, a man of influence, buoyed by popular mandate.


Er, no. I mention this because it is highlighted as the number one story on the BBC World News website at present. It’s the same sort of puffery they gave to Blair in his early days (years, in his case), where the British PM is seen being sought for his input by the great and good- and indeed is seen as the front man for the international community. The spin (yes, spin!) operation on Brown has been sickening enough, given the frankly old government trade that he is- the BBC seem to be losing no opportunity to cooperate in raising his profile on the world stage.

Goodbye Jane says John Zilkha, Editor of Five Lies Drivel

programme on the departure of Jane Garvey from the show:

We’d like to offer a permanent audio memento, the essential Garvey collection. Tell us about your favourite Jane moments – on the form on this page, or by leaving a comment below – and we’ll try to dust off the tapes and put together a compilation which you’ll be able to get online (there’s a couple of clips available here already).

Here at Biased BBC our favourite Jane Garvey moment, though there have been many, has to be from earlier this year, as she fondly reminisced with co-host Peter Allen about the morning of May 2nd, 1997, the morning when Tony Blair became Prime Minister (click play to start):

Peter Allen: I want to hear what you thought of when, in 1997, on May the 2nd…

Jane Garvey: Ah, well, I had been up for most of the night, er, but I was doing this Five Live breakfast programme with a colleague at the time,

Peter Allen: Oh, you remember…

Jane Garvey: It was a bloke called Peter Allen

Peter Allen: Yes

Jane Garvey: So, I had to get a bit of sleep, and I do remember I walked back into, we were broadcasting then from Broadcasting House in the centre of London, all very upmarket in those days, and the corridors of, er, Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles.

Peter Allen: (chuckles heartily)

Jane Garvey: I’ll always remember that, er, not that the BBC were celebrating…

Peter Allen: (still chuckling throughout) No, no. No. Not at all!

Jane Garvey: …in any way shape or form, and, er, actually, I think it’s fair to say that in the intervening years, uh, the BBC, if it ever was in love with Labour, has probably fallen out of love with Labour, or learnt to fall back in, or basically just learnt to be in the middle somewhere, which is how it should be, um, but there was always the suggestion that the BBC was full of pinkos who couldn’t wait for Labour to get back into power, that may have been the case, who knows? But as I say, there have been a few problems along the way over the last ten years. Wish I hadn’t started this now…

Peter Allen: Interested to hear people’s memories of May the 2nd 1997, you know the email,, or text…

Classic Garvey indeed. I wonder if that’ll make it into John’s ‘permanent audio memento’ of Jane – feel free to nip over to the Editors Blog and suggest it!

To save yourself a copy: right-click on this link, Jane Garvey recalls May 2nd, 1997 at the BBC, select ‘Save As…‘, save it to your computer, and then play it using your choice of media player.

Update: My colleague Laban recalls:

Another golden moment was [Jane] asking the Chief Constable of Merseyside, as the Anthony Walker killers were convicted, “Has there ever been a white victim of a racist murder in this country?”

Thank you to Biased BBC reader Simon Taylor for the MP3 recording (adding new detail to our transcript) – our very own Biased BBC ‘permanent audio memento’ of Jane’s time at Five Lies – now promoted to our sidebar for posterity’s sake.

Thank you to Hotlink Files for free file hosting and mirPod for their mini MP3 player.

Near the end of last night’s BBC Ten O’Clock News

reporter John Kay spent more than two minutes on a jocular report searching in vain (on a nice sunny day out) for a place in Cornwall called Porthemmet – a spoof news report about a spoof tourist destination, also covered by BBC Views Online, Shock for visitors to fake beach (another fine example of Views Online headline writing).

Sadly, neither the Ten O’Clock News nor BBC Views Online were able to find room, even in passing, for an amusing story from the Telegraph so much more redolent of life in contemporary Britain: Asylum seekers ‘enter UK in Tony Blair’s car’ – a touching tale of the Dear ex-Leader’s new taxpayer funded £100,000 armoured BMW 7-series, arriving from abroad complete with its own crack team of four asylum-seekers accompanying it.

Heartwarming stuff. I can’t think why it escaped the BBC’s notice.

Last night, after the BBC Ten O’Clock News, BBC London’s local

news bulletin reported that Home Office Security Minister Tony McNulty had admitted that the government had made mistakes in the aftermath of the 7/7 terrorist atrocities in London, in particular that the Muslim Council of Britain should not have been treated as being representative of British Muslims.

The story was mentioned on Newsnight with greater brevity, and is featured, ‘Mistakes’ made over 7/7 reaction, on BBC Views Online (appearing on the quieter reaches of the Politics and London pages) – complete with all the usual BBC features – careful use of the ‘T’ word, people ‘killed’ rather than ‘murdered’ and so on.

What seems strange though is that this story, a big admission from the government, and a long-needed come-uppance for the pernicious Muslim Council of Britain, wasn’t reported on the main Ten O’Clock News bulletin itself. 7/7 was a major national and international event – surely this news item is deserving of wider dissemination than a couple of fleeting mentions on niche programmes?

N.B. I’ve tweaked this article – I mistakenly said “no use of the ‘T’ word” originally, a mistake that was online for a couple of hours. See comments for details.

The hip and happening crew at BBC News cocked up their coverage

of the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Halo 3 game on Tuesday by showing gameplay from arch competitor Sony’s PS3 Killzone 2 game instead, helpfully labelled on screen as ‘Halo 3’. I suppose that’s one way of being balanced. Next up, news about Apple’s new Vista operating system…


Biased BBC reader Supermario spotted this Youtube clip showing the BBC’s latest stupidity, and a comment thread at Computer & Video Games magazine. As Supermario says, “BBC, all your base are belong to us!”.

Update (Thursday): Mark Popescu, editor of daytime news at the BBC, writing on the BBC Editors Blog, Digital Games, quotes Rory Cellan-Jones explanation for the Halo 3/Killzone 2 cock-up:

This, I’ll admit, was a bad mistake. Naturally I’m usually an enthusiast for digital technology, but this time it’s really caught me out…

…Result – disaster, and one replicated in the Ten O’Clock version of the story.

What was impressive to me was the speed with which bloggers spotted the mistake. So the latest technology can lead you down the wrong path – but it can also bring any foul-ups under the spotlight of the eagle-eyed web generation.

Sorry – we’ll try to be more careful in future.

Read the rest for Rory’s full explanation of events.

Thank you to Nick Reynolds of the BBC for the Editors Blog link.