Stephen Fry hits the nail on the head

I love Stephen Fry’s comments on the BBC’s ‘regionalism’. I think he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the idiotic move to Salford.

“I believe every great country should have a great capital. Naturally, a metropolis will absorb plenty of resentment and bitterness from the provinces, that’s as true of London as it is of Paris and Rome, Washington, Moscow and Madrid. But as a provincial boy growing up in Norfolk, I dreamt of London almost every night as I tried to fall asleep. Reaching it seemed like an impossible dream. I am tired of having to apologise for it. It is one of the wonders of the world. I love Norfolk no less, nor Yorkshire nor Gloucestershire nor Burnley. But hell, what a city London is.

This is a Britain where metro-hatred and provincial arse-licking has led to such fatuous absurdities as the farcical moving of the entire BBC sports department to Salford months before the Olympic Games come to London. Read that back twice and forbear to weep, groan, roar or wet yourself laughing.

Where does one begin with the BBC’s “regionalism”? They destroy local radio but move to Salford to “appease” the North. As if “the North” is one place! Do they think the citizens of Sunderland and Leeds are cheering because there’s a new BBC media centre in Salford? I should think even Mancunians are pissed off by it, let alone Geordies or Lakelanders. In-f******-sane. But don’t get me started. Oh – you did.”

The BBC’s move to Salford is so totally idiotic. A political move dreamt up in a meeting room by people with no attachment to reality or practicality, none of whom have probably been affected by the move and are currently happily residing in London still.

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3 Responses to “Stephen Fry hits the nail on the head”

  1. peter Says:

    Please, the Olympics wil not be back in London for another 60 years. If it matters, there is plenty of sport in the North West (this year’s best football, cricket, boxing, cycling). The BBC in London has lost some sport, kids TV and a little radio; it’s hardly on its uppers. I’m sure it will cope, and people from Norfolk will be thrilled to visit.
    The move to Salford doesn’t appease the North. There is no ‘North’, there is nothing to appease. Most people don’t live in London, why shouldn’t a national body have some operations out of the capital.

    • christophersaul Says:

      Hi Peter

      Thanks for dropping by. Congratulations on the new arrival!

      I agree with you – there’s no reason at all why a national body shouldn’t have some operations out of the capital. The BBC definitely should.

      What I think is ridiculous about the BBC’s move to Salford is that it is clearly more political than practical. It’s just moving certain randomly chosen operations to an alternative, apparently randomly chosen destination. We need something in the North!

      When a private company opens a regional office, there’s a business case – the BBC move just seems like a badly thought out idea and the resulting farce makes the move look even sillier. I’m sure it could all have been planned better!

  2. peter Says:

    Hi Christopher,
    It’s a shame the move is seen as political but I suppose that comes with the territory when you spend public money. In practical terms, I can’t see any issue. I can see no reason why sports coverage and kids TV needs to be broadcast from London. I think the North West has a decent claim to hosting major sporting events (the Grand National, biggest two-team football city in the world, the county with the most Open venues, the home of the British cycling team, cricket’s county champions); it’s not like they moved things to Cornwall or Norfolk. And the London 2012 argument? Salford is closer to London than London is to Beijing, Sydney, Los Angeles, Barcelona, etc. They managed to cover those game just fine.
    No doubt there have been some issues with relocating people, this happens. It also makes for an easy (lazy) story to write up the moaning of a couple of TV names. Their loss.
    This is not a private company, it is a national broadcaster paid for by the British public. The vast majority of which do not live in London. the rump of the BBC’s national output remains in the capital.
    Have a good Christmas (the Queen will not be asked to travel up to record her speech – yet!)
    Peter

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