BBC Centenary. Has political correctness replaced objectivism?

1935. Primary school children dance to the beat of music broadcast by the BBC. Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

As David Hendy, author of the anniversary book “The BBC: A People’s History” writes it, during WWII over 1000 sabotage actions on railways in Europe were carried out through the BBC. Not always and not everything worked perfectly, as planned, because, as one of his interlocutors remembers, “when a wrong tune was played, in Poland a wrong bridge would blow up”.

Is it possible to be British and live without the BBC. Several years ago it was decided to check that empirically. A group of people unfavorably disposed towards the BBC was deprived of access to its radio and TV programs. It turned out that 2/3 of group members have completely changed their mind. Even the necessity of paying the license fee stopped being problematic.

This practical experience showed that in spite of all its disadvantages and increasingly visible departure from the standards that lay at its heart, the BBC – after a centenary of existence it celebrates hold a strong position in GB. And although in 2015, when the experiment was conducted, the BBC management was still far from later, outrageous ideas.

The palm is undoubtedly borne by the idea of breaking with the traditional end of the Proms, the summer promenade concerts, when the entire great hall of the Royal Albert Hall sings two patriotic songs: Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. In 2020, during the pandemic, there was no live concert but TV spectators expected everything to be as usual. In view of common indignation the song were restored. A small choir sang them out.

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By Teresa Stylińska

Translated by Dominik Szczęsny-Kostanecki