Today’s coverage in the Daily Mail about the BBC wildlife presenter Chris Packham comes at a time when the Fundraising Regulator are already investigating whether the terminology in Packham’s fundraising, along with the fundraising strategy of his girlfriend’s Isle of Wight zoo (run by the Wildheart Trust of which Packham is a trustee), have been fit and proper.
As the Mail article and this magazine’s recent articles about Packham (here and here) have shown, there are many questions that need answering. More than that, this magazine has been contacted by angry donors who are beginning to feel that they have been duped by Packham and his words, when they took what he said as read because of his BBC position.
Who would ever have heard of Chris Packham without his BBC sustenance?
The claim that Packham keeps his campaigning and role at the BBC separate is bunkum, and the new BBC Director General, Tim Davie, surely sees it. Packham is an anti – plain and simple. He uses his high profile – solely derived from BBC work – to yoke the supposed integrity of the BBC as an institution to push his fringe political agendas and to raise millions of pounds off the public in the process by tugging their heart strings with pure propaganda.
Propaganda is not a word that Tim Davie will enjoy hearing, especially when public money and charity status are involved.
Instead, Davie wants to hear about impartiality, so he says. Does Davie need reminding of his role? The 2004 Hutton Inquiry and the subsequent report raised questions about the BBC’s journalistic standards and its impartiality. This led to resignations of senior management members at the time including the then Director General, Greg Dyke.
The BBC does not own the BBC. We the licence payers do. The BBC is a ‘public corporation’: neither a private corporation nor a government department. The high ideal is that it is held in trust for the public of the UK by the BBC Trust (the successor to the Board of Governors following the renewal of the BBC Charter by the government). And it is now obvious, even to many of those who supported Chris Packham in the past, that he should be suspended immediately pending investigation.
The BBC is in one hell of a fight for survival. The last thing the organisation needs is another scandal. This Packham story, which Country Squire Magazine will not drop despite threats from Packham’s supporters – there is much more to follow, Dear Readers – has illuminated the truth on which BBC bosses must now act.
As for Chris Packham, don’t you ever dare telling the royal family what to do.