On Wednesday, the BBC broadcast a show about the East End of London which centred around some black Britons. The show was Eastenders, and the BBC maintains that it has done limited-cast episodes which centred around particular families before and no-one complained, but of course, it's different when it's black people, right? Even though they're black British people in a show about a city which, it turns out, has quite a lot of people who aren't white.
The curious part in all this is that the papers seem offended that the BBC didn't shout from the rooftops about it, and treated the promotion of it as if it was a normal episode, as if black people were valid subjects for a soap or something! The Mail, of course, was particularly upset:
The corporation refused to say if the writers for the episode were black and said many people contribute to the story-lines of EastEnders episodes.What is this country coming to when you can't even ring up the BBC and demand to be told the race of all their writers in order to facilitate your tedious 'PC gone mad!' griping? It's a confusing issue for commentators; if the Beeb had gone big with the 'look at us! We're doing a show focusing on black people!', they'd have been scorned for being politically correct, but by not doing so, they're, well, being politically correct by stealth or something. All this seems to suggest that there's no way the BBC could focus on a storyline involving these two Eastenders families without being accused of social engineering, which is pretty depressing.
All this seems to be based around a somewhat speculative quote from a BBC 'insider'. Perhaps that's the same 'insider' who forms the basis for the Express' FORGET THE WAR BASIL, JUST DON’T MENTION INDIAN CRICKETERS, which claims that Fawlty Towers is being held back from repeats because it contains a satirical instance of the words 'wog' and 'nigger'. There seems to be no basis for this story other than the musings of an unnamed insider, and it's contradicted by the Beeb's explanation that;
The BBC repeats only a handful of archive comedies and seeing as Fawlty Towers only ran to 12 episodes, and was repeated only five years ago, there are no plans to repeat it in the near future.Don't forget though, kids, never accept a mundane explanation where a 'political correctness' one might fit! Quentin Letts, meanwhile, lets rip at the 'politically correct, social engineering loonies' of the Beeb for...well, it's not quite clear. Terry Wogan gave an interview where he suggested he might think about quitting the BBC because "I mean, I'm 70 years of age. I have to get up at 20 past five every morning", but also because he thinks the BBC will eventually retire him. Letts suspects that the BBC "feel uncomfortable with his middle-class, conservative values and sensitivities", despite the fact that they continue to pay him £800,000 a year and have made no move to get rid of him or reduce his profile. All this serves as a reasonable platform for Letts to air the usual moans about the BBC's disgraceful liberal bias.
All this pales into insignificance, though, next to Jonathan Ross takes ski holiday after an arduous MONTH back at work following BBC ban, which tells us that Ross went skiing for a bit, but fulfilled all his show obligations with pre-records. What a cunt!
Perhaps the oddest attempt to manufacture some anger was The Bono Broadcasting Corporation: Bosses hand U2 £1m in free advertising , in which some 'critics' (a Tory MP and two people on a message board) express their shock at seeing U2 get some publicity for their new overwrought hunk of shite on the BBC. Now, I hate U2, but I fail to see how this is a new development. The fact is, the BBC is just like everyone else when it comes to booking bands and other types of guests to do features; you get them when their PR people and management want you to. It's hardly unusual, every fucker with something to plug gets round the circuit, and the BBC has a big reach.
Another [message board poster] added: 'New albums come out all the time, but we are all supposed to be interested in this one for some reason.'hmm, I wonder if it's because U2 are arguably the biggest group on the planet and lots of people actually like them? As much as I'd love the BBC's public service remit to involve them giving over a prime-time Friday night BBC1 slot to two hours of Burning Star Core improvisation, dedicate a massive section of their website to commemorating the brief career of recently-defunct Iowa psych/noise purveyors Racoo-oo-oon, or have MF DOOM present Match Of The Day solely in rhyming couplets, I dare say some shit about U2 would probably be more popular.