Why the BBC couldn’t see any serious problem with its huge pay-offs

13 September 2013 9:39

‘Corruption’ is a subtle word, because it describes a process rather than an event. It does not merely mean bad behaviour: it means behaviour that becomes rotten out of something… Continue reading

Mark Thompson and Lord Patten Appear In Front Of The Select Committee Over BBC Severance Pay

Sketch: Dancing on the head of a BBC pin

10 September 2013 8:40

The BBC’s managerial superstars, past and present, arrived at the Public Accounts Select committee yesterday afternoon to answer questions about executive pay. Like a frightened flock of geese they all… Continue reading

It is not yet clear why  key evidence about ex-BBC Director General Mark Thompson was excluded from Nick Pollard's £3 million review of the BBC's handling of the Savile affair. (Photo PA)

The BBC Trust is a classic New Labour horlicks

9 September 2013 18:43

Nobody is ever ‘invited’ to appear before Margaret Hodge and the Commons public accounts committee. They are always ‘hauled’ before her. Thus it was with a whole phalanx of BBC… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

23 August 2013 4:30

For many people, stories and story-telling formed the basis of their childhood. But there are others whose childhood is devoid of books, and it’s these children that Oxford’s new Story… Continue reading


Is the RSPCA no longer an animal welfare charity?

7 August 2013 16:29

In January of this year, Melissa Kite wrote our cover story about how the RSPCA has morphed from being an animal welfare charity into an animal rights group.  She wrote of the… Continue reading

Amazon's Jeff Bezos To Buy The Washington Post For 250 Million

Taps for The Washington Post

6 August 2013 11:42

So it has come to this. The Washington Post, paper of Bradlee and Woodward and Bernstein and all the rest, has been sold to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. For $250m. That, apparently,… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

3 August 2013 13:36

‘Shakespeare’s Globe’, as the theatre has been called since it was founded in 1997, is unusual for a theatre in that it makes a large annual profit, without receiving public… Continue reading


Mehdi Hasan and the EDL

30 July 2013 10:17

At the weekend I was on the BBC TV programme Sunday Morning Live. We discussed pilgrimages and the ethics of the banking industry. But the first debate was the most… Continue reading

Ed Davey's grilling on the Sunday Politics has caused much outcry. Photo: BBC.

An inconvenient interview: Andrew Neil defends his grilling of Ed Davey

22 July 2013 17:49

Andrew Neil’s interview on Sunday Politics the other week triggered much reaction – and protest from those who do not believe that there is a debate to be had. Andrew has… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

19 July 2013 17:03

Wadjda is the first feature-length film to come out of Saudi Arabia, and was shot by the country’s first female director – but those aren’t the only things that are… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Alan Yentob laments as austerity reaches Aunty

15 July 2013 14:48

Troubled times at the BBC. There has been shock at the spectacular amounts of money that have been poured down the drain, and the row over executive pay-offs grows more vicious. And now new… Continue reading

David Dimbleby - Book Signing

There are upsides to live TV, but being spanked by David Dimbleby is not one of them

9 July 2013 18:05

Belated thanks to readers who wrote in about the BBC’s Question Time last week (still viewable here). It was a slightly odd edition, I thought. The panel – Margaret Hodge,… Continue reading

People take part in a tomato fight at the Glastonbury festival.

Down with the Glasto smugfest

2 July 2013 11:39

I suppose this will seem churlish, but I’d just like to add my support to the grime rapper Wiley who, upon arriving at the Glastonbury festival, tweeted to Michael Eavis:… Continue reading

Peter Bone

Do you agree with the Tories’ Alternative Queen’s Speech?

27 June 2013 11:59

A bunch of back bench Conservative MPs have won the right to present to parliament, via the almost pointless conduit of private members bills, a sort of alternative manifesto. A… Continue reading

Alex Jones lets rip on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones goes mad on BBC Sunday Politics

9 June 2013 14:28

Everyone enjoys a good conspiracy theory, particularly Alex Jones. His Infowars.com site can explain every single problem in the world through his theories on the rise of the ‘New World… Continue reading

Turkish protesters confront riot police. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey redux

8 June 2013 9:56

It must be boring for you too, returning to the same complaint, over and over again. Report on the BBC’s 10 O’Clock News about the trouble in Turkey. Not a… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

31 May 2013 16:49

Christopher Purves began his musical career playing doo-wop and rock and roll with the band Harvey and the Wallbangers . These days however, the stages of Glyndebourne and La Scala are… Continue reading

Prince William and Prince Harry prepare to open Tedworth House Recovery Centre, the hospital run by Help for Heroes. (AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS)

A point of order, Your Royal Highness

20 May 2013 16:58

The Duke of Cambridge joined forces with Prince Harry this morning to open Tedworth House Recovery Centre, the military hospital run by Help for Heroes. All power to the duke’s… Continue reading

Representatives of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stand outside Downing Street to hand a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the withdrawal of the British naval task force heading for the Falklands because the government refused to deny the presence of nuclear weapons in the task force. (Picture: Press Association)

CND cannot rewrite its own history

29 April 2013 14:28

Last week I recorded an edition of Hardtalk for the BBC which has gone out today.  It is a discussion with Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of the Campaign for… Continue reading

Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

The Wright Way

27 April 2013 11:14

Continuing the domestic bliss/ tv theme, one programme I have not watched so far is The Wright Way. This is a situation comedy about somebody called Wright, as you might… Continue reading

An undated photograph, released by North Korean propaganda authorities, of the young Kim addressing soldiers. (KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

The LSE’s anger about BBC Panorama sounds synthetic and sententious

16 April 2013 18:12

If I were to make a list of the things I thought the BBC should be doing, then a report from inside North Korea would come right at the top.… Continue reading

Wizard of Oz

For 79p a download you can outrage the Establishment!

12 April 2013 12:49

During the period when Ireland  had its own sort of censorship, a version of the Vatican’s Index of Forbidden Books, there was an ugly rush by publishers and writers to… Continue reading

Mark Thompson is about to rub shoulders with some old friends. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)

Mark Thompson’s BBC past haunts

4 April 2013 18:19

Steerpike is back in this week’s magazine. As ever, here is your preview: ‘One of Lord Hall’s predecessors, Mark Thompson, is toiling away as chief executive of the New York… Continue reading

The Queen inspects the elite of Eton College, during her Diamond Jubillee celebrations.

The workers united will never be defeated…

4 April 2013 15:16

There’s a BBC website where you can find out what class you are, according to new criteria drawn up by some bloke at the LSE and a babe from Manchester… Continue reading

Steph McGovern presenting BBC Breakfast

Why the confusion between debt and deficit?

20 March 2013 10:15

Polls show that, depending on how you ask the question, just between 8pc and 12pc of us realize that debt is rising. It’s not hard to work out why: first,… Continue reading