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Downhill from Here

Ian Jack: The 1970s, 27 August 2009

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies 
by Andy Beckett.
Faber, 576 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 571 22136 3
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... universal contempt. Denis Healey says: ‘He was a terrible prime minister, actually.’ Gavyn Davies, then a Downing Street adviser, remembers him as bored and ‘slightly an absentee prime minister’. Drink got him through the day: ‘Brandy from midday till late evening, when he is slow and very slurred,’ according to the diary of Bernard ...

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
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Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World 
BBC, 135 pp.Show More
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... an increasing homogeneity of casting (the ‘anything with Tara Fitzgerald’ syndrome). Andrew Davies withdrew his adaptation of Angela Lambert’s A Rather English Marriage from the BBC when Alan Yentob insisted that an aristocratic ex-Battle of Britain pilot be played by David Jason; ITV loved it, but made similar demands. Eventually, back at the ...

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