Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 15 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types



John Naughton: On the Future of the BBC, 17 December 1992

... had been unhorsed, however, the steam seemed to go out of the relationship. Early in the Gulf War, John Major was invited by one of his more neanderthal backbenchers to indulge in a routine spot of BBC-bashing during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons. Major pointedly declined the opportunity and went out of his way to compliment the World Service on ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC, 10 July 2003

Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
Show More
The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
Show More
Show More
... that men are sometimes wicked on purpose; Robert Kee, the hot-eyed public prosecutor … When John Birt arrived at the BBC as Deputy Director-General at the end of the 1980s, apocalyptic assessments of the programme were back in fashion. According to Birt, the BBC’s Chairman, Marmaduke Hussey, regarded Panorama ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Hind: The BBC, 16 June 2016

... final version will come into effect at the beginning of next year. There had been worries about John Whittingdale, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, and the plans he might have for the BBC, but the organisation envisioned in the White Paper isn’t vastly different from the BBC as we know it. The £3.7 billion from the licence fee will ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... schoolboy could be the next prime minister doesn’t cross either of our minds. On the other hand, John Birt is suitably impressed when I tell him that I actually met the great Lord Reith on the day of his extraordinary speech in the House of Lords likening commercial broadcasting to the Black Death. It was as if I’d said to the present Chief of me ...

What are we telling the nation?

David Edgar: Thoughts about the BBC, 7 July 2005

Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC 
by Georgina Born.
Vintage, 352 pp., £10.99, August 2005, 0 09 942893 8
Show More
Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World 
BBC, 135 pp.Show More
Show More
... in the 1990s was self-imposed. But as Georgina Born makes clear in her definitive analysis of the John Birt and Greg Dyke eras, the consistent impetus came from government. It’s no surprise that Margaret Thatcher wanted to take on the BBC – if anything, the surprise is how long it took her. (In her first term, Thatcher’s main concern was with BBC ...

‘Auntie Mabel doesn’t give a toss about Serbia’

Jo Glanville: The World Service, 25 August 2011

... would have extended our broadcasts in a number of ways to different languages,’ recalls John Tusa, who ran the World Service from 1986 to 1992, ‘but because the FCO had this ludicrous power of prescription they’d say no. And we’d say there’s an audience there, there’s a need there. And then sometimes when a crisis developed they’d ...

Who ruins Britain?

Peter Clarke, 22 November 1990

Friends in High Places: Who runs Britain? 
by Jeremy Paxman.
Joseph, 370 pp., £16.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3154 1
Show More
The Sunday Times Book of the Rich 
by Philip Beresford.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 81115 0
Show More
Show More
... his younger aristocratic relations. Not until 1988 was the contrapuntal term of art introduced by John Lloyd. ‘Britain is no longer run by an Establishment,’ he wrote in the Financial Times. ‘In its place is a Disestablishment comprising men and women whose values, assumptions and habits are those of outsiders.’ It is useful to have this glossary set ...


W.G. Runciman: Exit Blair, 24 May 2007

... minister has come to office with so little experience of government or anything else. Fettes, St John’s College, Oxford, Lincoln’s Inn and a few years on the opposition benches in the House of Commons are a preparation of limited value for going into the ring in the world of lies and violence with the likes of Dick Cheney, Gerry Adams, Vladimir ...

Off with her head

John Lloyd, 24 November 1988

Office without Power: Diaries 1968-72 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 562 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 09 173647 1
Show More
Show More
... of this year Tony Benn took part in a radio discussion on the working of Parliament, together with John Biffen and Roy (Lord) Jenkins. Asked by the chairman, Peter Hennessy, if he did not think that the Lords now functioned as a ‘focus of opposition’, Benn responded that it was, instead, ‘part of an attack on democracy. After all, why bother to vote in ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
Show More
Show More
... searching for the kindness of strangers on Clapham Common. The Director-General of the BBC, Sir John Birt, was knighted by Tony Blair and worked with and befriended Mandelson at London Weekend Television in the early Eighties. LWT executives became millionaires when a share option lottery in 1993 fell well for them. (Among the lucky LWT ...

The BBC on the Rack

James Butler, 19 March 2020

... vetted by MI5 (this didn’t end until the 1990s), its embrace of commercial structures under John Birt, director-general in the 1990s, and the shadier aspects of its foreign language broadcasting. Arguments about the relationship between the BBC and politics usually concentrate on its journalistic output, ignoring its cultural programming, but then ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen, 22 June 2006

Doctor Who 
BBC1Show More
Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
Show More
Show More
... him with Basil Fawlty. Except that the dying Dennis Potter went further, maybe, when he called John Birt, the BBC’s then director-general, ‘a croak-voiced Dalek’ in 1993. Much expectation surrounded Doctor Who’s return last year, into an industry that has changed vastly since he went away. Mark Thompson, the BBC’s current ...


Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... sergeant major is a can of McEwens lager.10 March. The Independent pursues its campaign against John Birt over his tax arrangements. On another page it boasts its acquisition of Jim Slater as its Stock Exchange commentator.13 March. To Weston to see Mam, who is dulleyed, expressionless, absent. The sun is hot through the blinds and the radio full ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
Show More
The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
Show More
The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
Show More
Show More
... of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass; various reflections on the fortieth anniversary of John Lennon’s death; a trailer for Peter Jackson’s new Beatles documentary, Get Back; a new documentary about Mark David Chapman; an article trailed as ‘the inside story of how Bowie met John Lennon’; a lockdown viewing ...

Last Night Fever

David Cannadine: The Proms, 6 September 2007

... bellow their way through “Land of Hope and Glory”’. By then, Ponsonby had been succeeded by John Drummond, who saw the Proms through its centenary season of 1994 and its 100th anniversary the following year. Drummond shared Ponsonby’s ‘distaste’ for the Last Night: he regretted that it perpetuated the ‘jingoistic isolationism’ of the Sargent ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences