100 years on from November 1922
The following is unashamedly partisan.
There is a well-known TV current affairs talk show in the US called “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Just before Christmas my esteemed publisher and fellow-author CS (Caz) Woolley drew my attention to a Youtube excerpt from it, in which Mr Colbert points out that it is now twenty years since the first of the “Lord of the Rings” films came out.
He’s evidently a fan of these films, putting it mildly. “Where are the celebrations? Why are we not marking this as a people?” he demands… and then performs an actual rap in praise of the LOTR film trilogy. If you like the films, and you don’t mind a bit of bad language, you really should watch this… and spot the cast cameos… it’s wonderful and it’s here (try to skip the ads):
But this is not a post about LOTR.
2021 may have been the 20th anniversary of an extremely good film, but 2022 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of something rather more significant, an institution that is one of the UK’s greatest gifts to the world.
Yes, I know, I mentioned this about a year ago here: https://www.penelopewallace.com/to-inform-educate-and-entertain-celebratethebbc/
So you may want to yawn and stop reading now.
But, as Stephen Colbert said: “Where are the celebrations? Why are we not marking this as a people?”
Is there not more fuss being made about the Queen’s 70 years on the throne https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/ than about the BBC’s centenary?
Yes, I know, we are finally seeing some information about what the BBC itself is putting together, https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/2021/bbc-100-year-of-programming/ but it shouldn’t be left to the BBC.
It is the world’s oldest national broadcaster. It set the standards, and to some extent still sets them, for impartial and comprehensive coverage. Without the BBC and Lord Reith, would we actually have had CNN, ITN, Channel Four News, the whole concept (not always adhered to) of fearless independent coverage? I’m not sure we would: look at the state of print journalism and the net.
In this age, where opinion replaces fact everywhere, and where so many governments still oppress those who challenge them, we need the BBC more than ever.
And in this age, probably not coincidentally, the BBC is under more attack than ever, partly because it’s made some huge mistakes, but mainly because the Tory party/government in its current disgusting state doesn’t like challenge.
This attack is serious and alarming.
Now is the time to #CelebrateTheBBC, and I’m fairly annoyed that I had to invent this hashtag in 2020 because nobody else had.
Now is the time to #DefendTheBBC – did you know that there’s also a much more prominent hashtag cheekily called #DefundTheBBC, set up in May 2020 and supported by the usual suspects in the press?
For the BBC’s centenary I’d like to see street parties. I’d like to see all the other broadcast channels in the UK fall silent and dark for one day (or one hour?) in honour of the First and Best. I’d like to see T shirts with supportive slogans and a Royal visit to Broadcasting House. I’d like congratulatory telegrams from all over the world.
How much of this can I arrange before November?
Love from the PPI (“Partial, Prejudiced and Ignorant”, remember) Blogger