Bbc: Say It with Flattery

By Anderson, Bruce | New Statesman (1996), May 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

Bbc: Say It with Flattery


Anderson, Bruce, New Statesman (1996)


The BBC is haunted by two ghosts, but they are behaving in very different ways. Gavyn Davies reacted to the loss of the BBC chairmanship with stoicism and wry humour. When he resigned, he wrote an emollient letter to Tony Blair. He had no plans to luxuriate in grievance. But to his surprise--because the PM is usually good at the little courtesies--there was no reply. Davies mentioned it to his old friend Gordon Brown. There was still no reply.

Then, irritated by something Alastair Campbell was reported as saying, Davies announced at a party that perhaps he would sue Campbell after all. A number of Blairites were present. Two days later, Davies received a warm letter from Blair.

That almost certainly closes the matter with Davies, but the former director general, Greg Dyke, is in less conciliatory mood and will not be initiating a friendly correspondence with No 10. Hurt to the core by the governors' decision to accept his offer of resignation--and still at moments giving the impression that he expects his old job back--Dyke is writing his memoirs. …

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