The BBC and the royal family in crisis? (E386)
The BBC is facing a potentially existential crisis. Libertarian Tory backbenchers who don’t believe in it in the first place see, as Harold MacMillan put it, 'one damn thing after another' - Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Jimmy Savile and now their former religious affairs editor Martin Bashir. Of course, champions of the free market probably wouldn’t like the BBC’s socialised business model even if it was run by Franciscan Friars, but is this the moment when a critical mass of enemies of the BBC can finally strike? Laurence Fox sees this story from one side. He is of course an actor of note and has performed on the Corporation; however, in what now seems to be his day job, as the leader of the Reclaim Party, he clearly cannot be counted as one of Auntie’s friends – he came aboard Sputnik to tell us why.
Of course the proximate cause of the BBC crisis is the forgeries which may have tricked the late Princess Diana into speaking as she did in her now infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir. The cover-up which followed prompted the man who would one day be King, Prince William, to make a heartfelt attribution of BBC culpability in his mother’s death and a plea that the BBC interview with his mother should never be aired again. Brian Basham is a supporter of the BBC but has a rather jaundiced view of the royal institution. He co-produced a film on the death of Princess Diana which, to say the least, was extremely critical of the Royal family. So we invited him onto Sputnik to give us a rather different view of the BBC.