BBC – “an executive-run place for idiots”

Jennifer Saunders cuts loose on the BBC.

In a tirade worthy of her Absolutely Fabulous character Edina, Jennifer Saunders has criticised the BBC, claiming that it has become “an executive-run place for idiots”.

The writer and comedian said the BBC was no longer a fun place to work, but a top-heavy corporate behemoth.

She described wanting to yell obscenities at a former director-general for insisting on spending licence fee-payers’ money on expensive lunches at the fashionable Ivy restaurant in London rather than on programmes.

Saunders, 55, was speaking to Glamour magazine in an interview to promote her autobiography, Bonkers: My Life in Laughs, which is published this week.

She fondly recalled the excitement of arriving at the BBC Television Centre in west London with her comedy partner Dawn French when they were starting out in their careers.

Since then, however, she said the corporation, which recently sold off Television Centre to split programme-making between central London and Manchester, had become “unrecognisable”.

“It’s become top-heavy in such an ugly way,” she said. “They went corporate instead of being what they should be, which is a national resource, a place which trains people and curates the best programmes, and encourages talent and does great news and journalism. 

Sounds awfully like TVNZ.

“They just became a corporate, executive-run place for idiots. It’s just so weird that they could put people off coming into the building. She added: “I mean, what are these titles? How is Alan Yentob still allowed in the building? There are questions that need to be answered! It’s absolutely extraordinary and I just don’t get it.” Turning to the appointment of Tony Hall as director-general, replacing his short-lived predecessor George Entwistle, she went on: “I mean, the new DG said he’d go through it with a knife and cut out loads of people. But I remember when it was fun to be there.

“They’d all be geeky and everybody in the building looked like they really knew something or were learning something and were happy to be there — even though they were paid so little.

“Now they have things like massive workshops for executives and heads of departments on decision-making and you think: ‘If you’re the ——- head of a department at the BBC and you don’t know how to make a decision, why are you in that job? Who hired you? That’s the only thing that you have to do!’

“It got so annoying that you were called into these special lunches with the director-general at The Ivy and you were like: ‘— off! This is the licence payers’ money! I’m paying for the car to take me there — we all are paying for that car. And I’d like an extra bit of budget on my programme please and less of your wheels!’ ”


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  • Harroputza

    The same argument could be made about our politicians, particularly the ones who advocate raising taxes to pay for more services. Services actually stands for perks for the in-crowd (politicians and their lackeys).

  • Col

    I think looking into the BBC is similar to many companies these days.
    Employing those who have Uni degrees without any practical experience, and it is now showing up. You need to have a balance.
    If you look at Labour and also the Greens, nearly all have Uni degrees, and never been in business of their own.
    That’s why the Nats understand the real world.

    • AnonWgtn

      Perhaps the Human Resources Industry has a lot to answer for.
      It has done untold damage in New Zealand over the last 30 years, by employing (to employer’s HR friends) their likenesses.
      Many wrong appointments have been made in middle/senior management on the friendship and whims of the HR Industry.
      Whoever thought that the Personnel Manager was worthy of top/board level positions, as they have now, allowing them to position their own likenesses.

  • thor42

    The BBC is a complete joke. It’s nothing more than a left-wing propaganda outfit now.
    It should be scrapped.

    • Michael

      So should TVNZ. But privately owned TV3 is even more left wing.

      • James

        At least we don’t pay an annual licence fee for the privilege of owning a television – with all income going to TVNZ – regardless of whether we watch, or want to watch, their crap.
        But yes, TVNZ should be sold off – a State owned broadcaster is simply a propaganda arm for the State; and I can see why we need one of them.

        • Hazards001

          I remember when we did though..I’ll never forget getting home to the flat first one evening and the phone rang as I walked in.
          A women’s voice said “Hello I’m (gave a name) and I’m calling from the NZBC and we’d like to know if there is a television at this number and do you have a licence?”
          Now I was a tad on the slow side that night..I heard what she said but it hadn’t registered before I’d automatically said yes (we actually had 4)
          Then she said “Do you have a TV licence?” Now by this stage the penny was beginning to drop but hadn’t and I said No!

          She then says “So can I have your name and address?”

          Now the penny had landed and landed hard and I replied “Don’t be fucking stupid” and hung up!

          True story.

    • onelaw4all

      What do you mean, “now”? ;]

  • Andy
    • Kiwi

      Superb site – run by an acerbic Ulsterman whose personal blog “A Tangled Web” stands up for the Unionist (Tory) party of my homeland. Also appears a lot on British MSM and has no truck for the dhimmi hard left BBC.

  • philbest

    No mention of political correctness; corporate structure BS is only half the problem. PC IS the epitome of boredom anyway. Especially in education.

  • Patrick

    There is not a bigger trough with more snouts anywhere the world over. To think the Pomgolians are forced to pay a television license to prop up these leftie socialist halfwit bludgers.