I love the BBC. In keeping with my (poorly kept) resolution to keep this blog positive, I will restrict myself to praise, rather than an attack on John Whittingdale’s plans, although it seems these might now be less alarming than I feared.
I love the BBC. When I was a teenager and older, Jack de Manio was my companion on the Today programme on what is now Radio 4. Later, just about every working morning I listened to it, often in the car, followed by PM on the way home. The Today programme and PM are still going strong. Have I Got News For You continues to satirise all political shades. The BBC takes what I consider to be a very carefully neutral stance on politics. The fact that both left wingers and right wingers have accused the BBC of bias makes my case persuasively.
I love the BBC. For years and years John Peel challenged my musical tastes with all manner of strange bands. I remember hearing everything from the Soft Machine to The Damned to Tangerine Dream to Kevin Coyne and many, many more. Nowadays the range of music they put on is so huge I can’t possibly keep up. The coverage certainly is distinctive and informative.
I love the BBC. Who else does period drama like it? Not ITV, certainly, although they occasionally make an effort. Who else puts on Shakespeare like it? In fact, who else puts on Shakespeare? I admit to being a sucker for detective and spy drama: Luther, Line of Duty and Under Cover are just three that have been addictive and exceptionally brilliant recently. (Yes, Marcella on ITV is great too.) I am a great admirer of CBBC and CBeebies, especially bedtime stories on the latter, often read superbly by stellar personalites, including David Tennant, Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, Lulu, Maxine Peake…..
I love the BBC. I have a guilty fascination with food programmes: Saturday Kitchen is the ideal Saturday morning in bed viewing; Masterchef is enthralling, The Hairy Bikers are thoroughly likeable; I now even admit to enjoying The Great British Bake Off. I’ve found nothing anywhere else to match all this. (The Food Channel, anybody? Man vs. Food? Really?)
There is so much more. I am aware that these are personal likes and that they reflect my rather soggy views on life (and politics). However, I believe that for wide-ranging, high quality, impartial programming, the BBC is superb. Long may it last.
(Linguistic note: I was unsure about writing BBC and PM rather than B.B.C. and P.M. However, it seems that this is the widely accepted usage. Language moves on. Using quotation marks for the names of programmes also seemed too much.)