Humphrys’ final question was, “How do you see yourself now?” To which I answered: “The old Andy is back. I’m ready to rock and roll.”
As we left the studio, Humphrys slapped me across the shoulder and said: “I think you got the tone of that absolutely right.” The producer, Karen Gregor, was gushing that I’d been “absolutely brilliant” and that it was “the best On The Ropes we have ever recorded.”
I later learned that the programme was cleared by BBC lawyers that same Thursday for broadcast the following Tuesday. It was then trailed so heavily over the weekend that I found it embarrassing to listen to Radio 4.
• Kershaw: How the BBC left me on the ropes The Independent, yesterday.
Does Mark Damazer, the controller of Radio 4 and BBC7, come from the school of reactionary management or are his thoughts that of only protecting a family from further media glare? Does he see it, perhaps, as an easy way of making a name for himself along the lines of the, ‘Good managers must make controversial decisions’, philosophy? Whose interests does Damazer represent?
How’s that for a loaded question?
I’m not going to voice my opinion at great length on this, not today. But without doubt, the manner in which the BBC handle these type of incidents, is often seen as clumsy at best and has much wider and more serious implications than that of a single interview. Such decisions can only exacerbate the current atmosphere of intense sensitivity felt inside the BBC, and thus provide easy ammunition for critics outside it. In short, this is not a competent way in which to manage the country’s leading radio station.
Is Mark Damazer in control?
Mark Damazer is no stranger to unpopular decisions,
• New controller announces UK Theme on Radio 4 to be scraped.
Photo credit: Vic Bates