Friday, 21 November 2008

Sachsgate the Update

It's the story in the British media that just keeps on giving. Some weeks after comedian Russell Brand and TV host Jonathan Ross made sexually explicit phone calls to the home of actor Andrew Sachs, the BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, has reported its view of the whole debacle.

The chairman of the Governors, Sir Michael Lyons, has made it clear that Brand/Ross overstepped the mark of taste/decency, but that this outcome was predictable. The people at fault primarily were those in production and editorial clearance teams who failed to stop the broadcast. Interestingly, Brand's show was produced by his own production company, and the Trust has also said that the BBC must review its working relationships with presenters who front shows made by their own outfits.

Additionally, the Trust recommends tightening up disciplinary procedures against those who fail to follow editorial guidelines.

One final point - the Trust also announced that senior BBC executives would be foregoing their bonuses this year. I was surprised to read that they get bonuses at all. Isn't the BBC supposed to be a Public Service Broadcaster? Since when did market forces capitalism creep into Broadcasting House?

Lord Reith, the founder of the BBC, must be turning in his grave.