August 07, 2023
Like the colossal bore it has now become, Britain’s once-great national broadcaster, the BBC, seems to spend most of the time these days reporting endlessly upon nothing but itself.
In the past month alone, we have had scandals involving their leading newsreader allegedly paying a teen good money to show him his/her (it’s never been specifically confirmed) nice smooth pink bits over the internet, an official apology being issued to Chief Brexiteer Nigel Farage for false allegations being made by a business editor about the reasons for the recent closure of his bank account, and a bizarre episode in which a reporter moronically asked a female Moroccan soccer player to publicly declare whether any of her teammates were lesbians, thereby putting them in potential danger of arrest, given such things are illegal over Casablanca way. All in a day’s work, it seems, for the modern-day Brotherhood of Bum Chums.
Meanwhile, a think-tank report has blasted the Beeb as really being the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, with its increasingly unwatchable dramas being riddled with obvious leftist agitprop subtexts, such as blatantly overrepresenting the number of black people in their casts (except when said drama is full of baddies, whereupon the demographic bias suddenly switches the other way around). So, maybe BBC actually now stands for Black Broadcasting Corporation after all?
Nurse, the Screens!
A memorably woke and endlessly repeated BBC Four documentary bearing the almost self-parodic title Black Nurses: The Women Who Saved the NHS is emblematic of the organization’s transformation into a wall-to-wall propaganda machine. According to the show, Britain’s National Health Service would have simply collapsed in the 1950s without the importation of a few thousand black nurses from the Caribbean to fill a temporary medical labor shortage that could have been more sensibly addressed simply by the government paying native white women properly to wipe the bums of the Great British bedridden instead, rather than trying to replace them all with cheap foreign labor like George Soros told them to.
If the BBC’s titular assessment is indeed correct, I hate to see what would have happened to the NHS without any white nurses toiling in the nation’s hospitals at the time. If Auntie Beeb really wanted to give both sides of the argument, as it is supposed to be legally bound to do by its charter, they would have broadcast a sister documentary, Diane Abbott: The Black NHS Baby Who Destroyed Britain, to balance things out a bit more (Abbott being the U.K.’s first-ever black female MP, for the lefty Labour Party, and the daughter of an immigrant NHS nurse from Jamaica—an ideal interviewee for the show).
The program’s makers could have repeated Ms. Abbott’s blindly hypocritical 1996 assertion that white Scandinavians with blonde hair and blue eyes don’t make good nurses like her dear old dusky mum did, and that the NHS’ 1990s importation of such Aryan abominations from Finland to fill a temporary labor shortage in a “multicultural” area of London was an ethnic disgrace. Instead, Diane said, “they should employ local people” who understand the British language, culture, and institutions more than any Nordic infidels did—namely, black immigrants from the Caribbean.
“My argument is not that they shouldn’t employ white nurses, but they should employ local people,” Abbott later protested—i.e., “local” people from the West Indies, not West Ham. Swap “black” for “white,” and that’s probably what the 1950s locals at the time said about her mum.
But did the BBC documentary actually deign to mention any of this stuff? No idea, I have no intention of ever watching it, I’m white.
The Lie at Night
The real shame about all this is that BBC scandals of yesteryear used to be so much more quaint, amusing, and…well, British. Just compare two involving the issue of outer space, separated by three or four short but significant decades.
The sad, shrunken state of today’s BBC was well illustrated in 2012 when perma-grinning TV scientist Professor Brian Cox claimed he was banned by cowardly bosses from pointing a radio telescope at the newly discovered planet Threapleton Holmes B as part of his BBC2 series Stargazing Live. Hoping to hear messages from the Beeb’s ET broadcasting equivalent, he was disappointed to find this action would contravene the Corporation’s Health and Safety regulations.
Discussing this on BBC radio, Cox’s interviewer guessed this was because the aliens “might swear” on live TV, which would lead to po-faced censure from officialdom. Furthermore, Cox’s suggestion that viewers be enlisted to point their own telescopes Mars-ward for signs of extraterrestrial life was nixed by a parsimonious producer who objected that any successful audience member would need to have a prize bought for his historic achievement from the program’s meager budget. Cox wondered why, upon being informed they had just discovered the first evidence of life off Earth, any sane individual would need to be told, “Oh, and here’s a book voucher as well.”
This all led to incredulity amongst the British public, but it soon turned out Cox was only joking. Yet people automatically believed Cox’s quips because this was precisely the kind of bureaucratic hoop-jumping the BBC, fully captured by leftish, jargon-spouting HR department drones, now employed as a matter of course: a real case of a lie that told the truth.
The earlier, less robotic Beeb was happy to let its presenters get away with way more. Brian Cox’s predecessor as the Corporation’s chief star-botherer, Sir Patrick Moore, of The Sky at Night fame, played a much better prank upon viewers in 1976. Moore became aware of a pseudo-scientific book, The Jupiter Effect, that incorrectly argued that a rare astronomical alignment of planets in 1982 would cause massive earthquakes, completely destroying Los Angeles, a prediction that ultimately proved incorrect—L.A. would need to wait another decade for the Rodney King riots to strike in 1992 to experience its true fiery Armageddon.
On 1 April 1976, Moore appeared on BBC Radio 2, claiming that, at precisely 9:47 a.m., Pluto would pass directly behind Jupiter, exerting an abnormally strong gravitational pull upon our Earth, weakening the usual forces of gravity. If people jumped into the air at this exact moment, Moore said they would begin to float.
Calls quickly flooded in from fantasists professing to have levitated around their lounges together with items of their own furniture. One man even demanded compensation, saying he had risen so high when jumping upon Moore’s command that he had bumped his head on the ceiling. Back then, however, the BBC was not yet quite supine enough to kneel down and grovel for immediate forgiveness.
Radio Killed the Video Star
The Beeb did once possess a spine: Some old-time Beeb staffers were even allowed to get away with killing people. Chris Morris was one of the BBC’s finest-ever satirists, a so-called “media terrorist” who specialized in getting celebrities to say stupid things on air. In 1994, he took this to an extreme new level by providing news-bulletin-style updates about the health of the leading camera-courting Conservative Party politician and walking haircut Michael Heseltine on his radio show, along the lines of “If there is any news of the death of Michael Heseltine in the next hour, we’ll let you know.”
If you take such phrases absolutely literally, they are not actually saying Heseltine was truly dying at all (which he was not), merely making a statement of the obvious—i.e., that if any famous person dies while we’re on air, like Hezza, we’ll obviously announce the fact—but still Morris managed to dupe politicians and celebrities into contributing to the man’s fake obituary tapes, just in case.
When Heseltine himself heard these greatly exaggerated rumors of his own demise, he just laughed, but Morris’ fellow scandal-dogged BBC star, DJ and celebrity pedophile Sir Jimmy Savile, was less amused when a similar stunt was pulled on him one Boxing Day and threatened to sue the Beeb for ruining his Christmas.
“At some point he’ll actually kill someone,” joked BBC comedy producer Armando Iannucci of Morris later. “He’ll tape it, then broadcast it.” Given that it later transpired Savile was a prolific sex offender, even up to the point of abusing sick children, corpses, and dying patients in hospitals, it was a shame Iannucci’s prediction did not come true.
But it turns out the BBC actually has killed people down the years for real, not just as an on-air joke—and not the right ones, either, like Jimmy Savile or Michael Heseltine.
In 1975, 50-year-old bricklayer Alex Mitchell was so amused by the sight of a Scotsman in a kilt fighting off an attack from a killer black pudding on the popular BBC sketch show The Goodies that he couldn’t stop laughing for 25 minutes straight, whereupon he collapsed and died. In a less litigation-hungry age, Mitchell’s widow then wrote to the BBC, thanking it for making her late husband’s final moments on Earth so enjoyable!
Less pleased was the family of another innocent man murdered by the BBC. The Late, Late Breakfast Show was a 1980s Saturday-evening light entertainment program hosted by superstar DJ Noel Edmonds and broadcast live on prime-time BBC1 between 1982 and 1986—until one of its contestants was killed during a stunt gone tragically wrong.
The show boasted of having the most dangerous stunts on TV, once being subjected to preemptive action from the Health and Safety Executive for its ridiculously irresponsible plan to see if a man could escape from an exploding chimney into a helicopter, whilst on another occasion a woman was shot from a cannon, breaking her arm.
In 1986, 24-year-old contestant Michael Lush took part in a challenge with the inadvertently apt title “Hang ’Em High,” bungee jumping from an explosive box 120 feet in the air whilst trying to escape from chains and a straitjacket. However, upon his first practice leap, the bungee rope came loose and he went careering into the ground, dying instantly. The show had not even arranged an ambulance to be on hand. The Late, Late Breakfast Show soon lived up to its name by being immediately canceled.
So, perhaps today’s Boring Bastards’ Club scandals are nothing much by comparison with some of those of its past after all. Come on, BBC, get back to doing what you’re actually good at again: acts of live public murder! May I humbly suggest you begin with whoever it is that commissions 99.999% of your unbelievably shitty programs at present?