My letter to Tony Hall, BBC Director General.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
I don't want to sound like a broken record but I had 43 messages, after Pick of the Pops on Saturday 15th August on Radio Two played the entire Top 20 from 1965 - with the exception of Everyone's Gone To The Moon by Jonathan King (No7 and climbing they tell me, in case you think I'm sad enough to remember). The producer tells me he wants to play it but cannot, until he gets in writing a letter from his bosses and the Head of Compliance, telling him mentions for me and plays of my music are allowed on the BBC. The bigger question is, of course, why are convicted murderers allowed to act in soap operas and a convicted sex offender booked to be a Judge on The Voice (quite rightly, I think, but the contrast is peculiar) when DJ's either not convicted at all (Savile) or found innocent of many charges but guilty on one small one (DLT - not even jailed) have their presented shows chopped from transmission. Viewers, listeners and licence fee payers are offended in their millions whilst a tiny minority complain if they are allowed on the BBC. I do understand the desire to let the Mail to have editorial control (anything for an easy life) but is it really the way programmes should be built? Are we going to see Gary Glitter or Rolf Harris tracks removed from the airwaves? Chuck Berry was played on Saturday morning and Brian Matthews gave a detailed account of his child sex conviction. Surely it is time for a detailed, specific policy on the attitude towards convicted criminals, let alone towards those accused but never convicted? Will future documentaries on past history soon erase Prime Minister Edward Heath footage? Incidentally I suspect the size of my recent mailbag was provoked by my Spectator article on Heath and the reaction and publicity provoked by that. As I've said before I'm a huge supporter of the BBC, with fond memories of my many decades contributing to it. I was pleased the recent Top of the Pops included my Rubik's Cube segment and hope that future ones will carry all my American run downs on the chart. But as Director General, aren't you bemused and rather annoyed by the anomaly? Best wishes, Jonathan King