John Gau, 7 August 1986
Michael Leapman has chosen what seems a presumptuous title for his book about the BBC. After all, the BBC is a bit like Russia – with an endless capacity to absorb criticism, punishment, even invasion, and still come out on top. A year ago Auntie was reeling from a barrage of punches from every direction. In the right corner were the privateers, the de-regulators, and the lobby who wanted to commercialise it. In the left, a range of radical and committed programme-makers who felt the Corporation was too establishment-minded, not responsive enough to the creative and technical innovations sweeping through the world of broadcasting. Then, with the appointment of the Peacock Committee, it really did seem as if the Government had brought in someone to deliver the knockout punch. Well, the professor has now reported and declared ‘no contest’. Advertising is out, and some time over the rainbow subscription television will be in. Once again the BBC has survived.