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.

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

  1. Martin says:

    Even being thoufht of as a “Tory” is like being thought of as scum by the BBC. Are we surprised there?


  2. George R says:

    This will not stop ‘Today’ having a good hypocritical go at the ‘out of touch’ Tory conference being held in a down-to-earth town (Blackpool), where the BBC’s New Labour chums no longer go.


  3. Geezer says:

    “Even being thought of as a “Tory” is like being thought of as scum by the BBC”

    Just being thought of as, probably not a socialist, makes you scum.

    Radio 4 is pure Guardianista.


  4. MisterMinit says:

    Couple of comments.

    Mainly, let’s not forget that the thrust behind this story is nothing more that pure speculation on the part of this guy’s friends.

    Also, since when has a “a blokey, populist style” implied that someone was a Tory?


  5. John Reith says:

    Hasn’t anybody noticed the obvious flaw in the Mail’s reasoning?

    John Humphrys is himself a working class boy made good, who didn’t go to university.

    So that kind of background can hardly be an obstacle to employment as a Today presenter, can it?

    We’re told Peter Allen’s suffering on account of his Essex background.

    Yet Humphrys managed to overcome the considerably greater handicap of being Welsh.


  6. Spencer says:

    It’s all about how you present, JR.


  7. Martin says:

    [Deleted. Sorry Martin, but that comment has no place here. The Moderator.]

    [P.S. Send an email if you want to argue the point – we’re not discussing it here.]


  8. amimissingsomething says:

    John Reith | 30.09.07 – 4:24 pm |

    hello reith

    i have observed this type of reasoning in some of your previous contributions

    for example, you once addressed the accusation of a bbc-labour revolving door by giving us a count of the number of conservative voters you claimed worked for the bbc (32, i think you came up with, at one point)

    now your argument is, since one person from a certain background was successful at the bbc, no one from a similar background can be said to be unacceptable because of it

    well, i guess that means the london police can’t possibly be racist, whatever anyone says, because, “look at all the minorities it employs”

    and the tories can’t possibly have the smell of racism about them because they do have members from minorities, don’t they?

    come to think of it, i guess the usa must be racism-free because of minorities at top levels such as sec. of state, attorney general, and other cabinet-level posts…


  9. towcestarian says:

    John Reith | 30.09.07 – 4:24 pm |
    I agree with you completly, Reith, no class warfare here. This actually looks like it has the dead hand of the BBC Diversity Czar (Mary Fitzpatrick) all over it. Peter Allen (far and away my favourite BBC newsreader) is too hideously white, male and middle-aged to be considered for a “promotion” in Beebland. I would put money on Humphrey’s replacement being a female, ethnic yoof with an “urban” accent.


  10. L.Richardson says:

    Although I like Peter Allen, you only have to listen to him interview people to know he’d never vote Tory.
    He’d fit right in with the Today programme !


  11. Lurker says:

    Anna Ford was deemed unacceptable because she was posh.

    I believe that John Peel was also regarded as suspect because of his public school backgroud, presumably because he didnt pretend it wasnt true.


  12. Gareth says:

    It was either in The Nation’s Favourite by Simon Garfield, or on a TV documentary about Radio 1, where John Peel explained it was only due to the school he went to that once saved his show from the BBC axe.

    Everyone else wanted rid of him but the person with the final say happened to have gone to the same school.

    Those at the coalface might tend to be tribal but sometimes the management get it right.


  13. Voice of Reason says:

    Peter Allen is a likeable broadcaster. He would show the others up for the dislikeable propagandist poseurs they are. The Today programme is the Nasty Programme and no place for a decent human being like Peter Allen.


  14. The Fat Contractor says:

    Lurker | 01.10.07 – 1:34 am |

    Not really believeable though is it? Most of the BBC upper ranks and a good proportion of their reporters are public school.

    John Peel was probably viewed as suspect because he changed his preferences for bands with the winds. One minute he’s into one form of music the next it’s antithesis. God knows why the man was so highly lauded.

    He was also cod-common so maybe they thought he was a class traitor πŸ˜‰