Thursday, 15 March 2012

An Open Letter to the BBC Director General

Dear Mark,

Sian is leaving BBC Breakfast today. (Sad face). Mrs Cragsbury rather likes her. But with the move of BBC Breakfast to Salford, this presents an opportunity, no?

For some years, BBC News has generally become more and more lightweight. Radio 4’s Today programme, The News at Ten and Newsnight all heroically cling on by their fingernails. Question Time has slipped badly. I mean, Will Young last week. Really?

The worst of all offenders has been BBC1’s Breakfast programme. It’s horrible. Really it is. Take today's offering for example. You essentially have a 30 minute recycling agenda. I have problems with that for starters. Radio 4’s Today programme can eruditely flesh out three hours of fascinating news each day, surely Breakfast can too, no?

But putting that to one side, do you honestly think that breathless reporting of the Belgian bus tragedy – Day 2! – and a report on potholes deserved 10 minutes of that recycled 30 minutes six times this morning? Really? We all feel desperately sorry for the Belgians involved in this tragedy, of course, and I’m sure potholes are important to someone somewhere, but come on, gives us some proper news. There seems to be received wisdom by BBC executives that we proles can't handle serious news or anything in more than a 3 minute package. Try us. Honestly. We’ll surprise you.

Take the plunge, Mark. Grip this unique opportunity with both hands. Soft focus morning TV news is a crowded market with ITV and Sky already well and truly camped there. We licence fee payers look to you to educate and inform us with your news programming. Leave endless and breathless over-playing of the tragedy of the day and potholes for daytime telly. Be brave, Mark. Give us something intellectual. We can cope.


Melvin Cragsbury

PS Send Mrs Cragsbury’s regards to Sian.

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