BY JIM BROWNE
The BBC is ‘institutionally biased against the countryside’ and is, and always has been, ‘the issue’.
These were the strong comments of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Chairman Ian Coghill following the well-publicised furore over BBC presenter Chris Packham and his offensive comments describing those involved in hunting and shooting as “the nasty brigade”.
Coghill said the BBC is ‘as far away from the real countryside as they can get’ and ‘so long divorced from country life that it thinks the Archers is real’.
Coghill chastened the BBC for mentioning that the countryside and wildlife has ‘nothing to do with policy or current affairs’ and said those who enjoy traditional country sports are ‘increasingly disenchanted’ with being treated as a ‘whipping boy’.
In response to the comments, some BBC pencil neck spokesperson said: “Across television, radio and online we cover a wide range of rural issues from many different perspectives in depth and impartiality. We are delighted so many listeners enjoy the Archers and are sure people appreciate it is a drama rather than a documentary.”
So, is the BBC biased against the near 20% of the British population which lives in the countryside and, huffing and puffing, parts each year with a payment for the BBC license fee?
The licence fee made up the bulk of the BBC’s total income of £4.805 billion in 2014–2015 – of which £613.4 million or 16.4% was provided by the Government through concessions for those over the age of 75.
The countryside is therefore putting into the BBC in the environs, directly or through concessions, £1.2 billion.
What does the British countryside get back apart from townie East Enders, a few good series like The Night Porter, Match of the Day, weird hand-gesturing news by androgynous dolls and a bunch of radio shows?
Apparently, there’s also a show called Countryside 999. Never seen it personally. Must be on when something decent is on Sky.
While there’s plenty of looking at the countryside from the townie perspective – think Escape to the Country – there’s really nowt on offer on the Beeb for country folk at all.
Countryfile is now detested by the real countryside because of its political bias. The Archers is loved by many but the new generation of young farmers don’t give a monkeys about it.
There’s a hell of a lot that could be bought by countryside dwellers for £1.2 billion.
Why not give us our money back, BBC, and we’ll produce some programmes which all the countryside generations will enjoy watching?
There are plenty of topics in the countryside which dumb graduates in London don’t know anything about – the fabulous rustic restaurants, extreme sports, zorbing, lots of industry, country sports, countryside traditions and the long list of genii who live out here amidst the fields and moors.
If our new productions sink Eastenders, so be it.
About time some of the codswallop on the BBC, which riles most of the population, was switched off. After years of talking the country down, why not pull your fingers out BBC, put on a pair of wellies and find out what we country folk want.