The BBC we love has been killed off by preening narcissists like Gary Lineker
IF you don’t want to know the score, look away now.
It takes the £159 licence fee of 8,176 viewers to pay for Gary Lineker’s £1.3million annual salary at the BBC.
Many of those licence fee payers would have been happy to see Lineker back on TV this weekend, talking about the football.
There will never be a better presenter of Match Of The Day.
But some of them will feel something between irritation and rage that Gary has totally got away with comparing the most racially diverse Government in British history — including a Home Secretary whose children are direct descendants of Holocaust victims — to Nazi Germany.
And all of those 8,176 licence fee payers are entitled to feel they are being taken for mugs.
Because we self-evidently no longer have an independent state broadcaster, yet we are still obliged to pay for one.
You can’t opt out. Fourteen years after Claudia Lawrence disappeared walking to work at York University, the BBC were reportedly still hounding her for licence fee payments, including threats of court action and a £1,000 fine.
Claudia’s mother, Joan, said the harassment has caused her “untold heartache.”
We have grown used to a left-wing bias at the BBC.
But the triumph of someone who talks like Rick from The Young Ones suggests that all pretence of impartiality has now gone for ever.
And without that sacred impartiality, the BBC will lose its soul.
And the £4billion a year it receives from our licence fees.
Lineker has triumphed over his timid bosses but it is a hollow victory.
Because it is only the false market created by the licence fee that makes it possible to pay him £1.3million per annum to present a highlights show.
Yes, Lineker could jump ship to ITV and get even more than he does at the BBC.
But surely not when the magic money tree of the licence fee has gone.
Because then everyone in TV land will find they are living in a harder, poorer world where they all scramble for advertising revenue, subscriptions and viewers.
The licence fee that currently enriches the smug superstars of the BBC creates a false market.
When that £4billion a year disappears into the mists of history, the fat cats of Broadcasting House will no longer be a protected species.
They will be in the same leaky boat as blacksmiths, milkmen and print journalists — making ends meet in a contracting industry.
To some, seeing the self-righteous, self-important lefties cut down to size will be a triumph.
But the younger generation — anyone born this century — will not even look up from their phones, because they have no particular affection for the BBC and think watching TV is something that was done in the olden days, like rationing bananas.
But for those of us who grew up with the BBC, it will be a day of sadness when it is no longer special enough to warrant a licence fee.
Many of us still have a deep and abiding love for the BBC.
I watched the first episode of David Attenborough’s Wild Isles and it was impossible to imagine it appearing anywhere else.
Amazon? Netflix? Disney Plus? I really don’t think so.
Sir David’s documentary about these islands was the BBC at its glorious best.
But that BBC — the BBC we grew up with, the BBC we love — has been killed off by preening narcissists. And something priceless has been lost.
But then Attenborough is from the old BBC.
And Sir David never called anyone a Nazi because they are a Tory.
New style Playboy’s taking us all for a ride
PLAYBOY magazine was always going to struggle to find its place in a world that contains both the internet and gender equality.
Its print edition disappeared years ago but now Playboy is back with a subscription service that places content behind a paywall.
We are told that instead of Playboy bunnies there will be Playboy “creators” – a new, empowered, sophisticated species.
The first digital edition features Amanda Cerny in a metallic swimsuit, floppy ears and sitting astride what appears to be a giant carrot. Bunny – geddit?
It’s not quite the brave new world that the brand’s propaganda promises.
I will believe Playboy is part of the modern world when it can finally bear to part with the floppy ears.
Harry shock for U.S.
PRINCE Harry’s youthful jape dressing up as a Nazi for a fancy dress party will be recreated in the next series of The Crown.
Last December, Harry and Meghan accepted a Ripple Of Hope award for their stance against racism.
The vast majority of Brits, who knew Harry long before he was healing the world, will already be well aware that the pea-brain prince once dressed up as a Nazi for a jolly joke.
But it will be something of an eye-opener to Harry’s new fans in America.
You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.
Lucy is a true genius
CHANNEL 4’s The Piano was moving beyond belief.
Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, with classical pianist Lang Lang and pop star Mika as judges, it was the best reality TV show in years.
It sought the best amateur pianist in the country, by inviting players to tinkle the ivories at a number of railway stations.
All four finalists have had their personal struggles. But what Lucy, the eventual winner, has had to overcome is beyond imagination.
The 13-year-old was born with cancerous tumours behind her eyes.
She is blind, autistic and largely non-verbal.
Lang Lang called her a genius. When Lucy played Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 , this did not feel like hyperbole.
The Piano was uplifting, heartbreaking and inspirational.
HUMZA YOUSAF is the favourite in the SNP leadership contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon.
But Mr Yousaf chortled to a group of female Ukrainian refugees: “Where are all the men?”
Er, aren’t they fighting a war? What a gaffe, Humza.
Even Joe Biden would blush.
Roger has to be a Sir
THE Queen knighted a lot of rock stars – Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Rod Stewart, as well bestowing honorary knighthoods upon Irish citizens Bono and Bob Geldof.
The new King has continued the tradition by knighting one of Queen, Brian May.
But as always when a rock star is knighted, I found my thoughts drifting to Roger Daltrey of The Who.
The Who are up there with The Beatles and Rolling Stones.
Daltrey helped to start the annual Teenage Cancer Trust concert series and has raised more than £20million over the past 20 years.
Some rock stars don’t dig awards. David Bowie declined a knighthood. Keith Richards was scathing about Jagger accepting one.
But Daltrey has no such objections – he accepted a CBE in 2005 for his work with Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities. So where is his knighthood?
Mick’s still got it
MICK JAGGER caused a sensation when he rocked up at the Fulham v Arsenal game wearing a baseball cap that carried the acronym DILF.
Meaning Dad I Would Like To . . . Fondle. Or something.
Technically, Mick’s entitled to a GGDILF hat because he is a great-grandfather to three, grandfather to five and father of eight, ranging from six to 50.
His DILF hat got tongues wagging about how many lovers he has had – 4,000, suggested one of his biographers, though I don’t know who’s counting. I bet Mick never did.
Jagger celebrates his 80th birthday in July. That DILF cap proves he has still got it.
A sense of humour, I mean.
Emma in the real world
EMMA RADUCANU says she is ditching social media due to an overdose of spiteful negativity.
“After the Australian Open I deleted WhatsApp and Instagram off my phone,” says Emma.
“And after that I’ve been living under my own little rock.”
That’s not your own little rock, Emma. That’s real life.
I suspect that, in the coming years, more of 20-year-old Emma’s generation will discover that swimming in the sewer of social media is not actually compulsory.