Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Introducing his show last Sunday, Andrew Marr mentioned that Lord Hall was a giving a "relatively rare TV interview." Marr said that "both the Tories and the Labour Party, not to mention the SNP, complained loudly about the BBC all the way through the election campaign. After it, Auntie's enemies are circling."

Newsround Blog has previously commented on Lord Hall's reluctance to submit himself to tough questioning but, of course, Andrew Marr is not exactly noted for giving his guests a difficult time.

During the interview Lord Hall was asked about problems the BBC faces -

Andrew Marr: .. there are a series of things, which, if they all happen together, would be quite serious for the BBC. Decriminalisation of the licence fee, so you can pay it or not as you wish - that could cost something like £200 million.

Lord Hall: About two hundred

Andrew Marr: .. but it could be a lot more than that. We don't know how people will behave, so it could be much more than that. Then there's a possibility of a freeze of the licence fee going beyond 2017, and the BBC having to pay the licence fee for OAPs, for instance. If all of those things happened together, a kind of general squeeze, how serious would that be for the BBC?

Lord Hall: Well if all of those things happened together, then of course that would be serious.

Strange as it may seem, nowhere did Andrew Marr mention another issue which could greatly compound the BBC's predicament, namely, the possibility of having to pay very large sums of money by way of compensation to victims of Jimmy Savile & Stuart Hall. Neither did Mr Marr ask about inordinate delays to publication of the Dame Janet Smith Review or the BBC's separate independent assessment of child protection and whistleblowing policies carried out by GoodCorporation.

Topics which were discussed included cuts in staffing, severance payments, and changes to Top Gear.

A telling moment came right near the end of the show, when Andrew Marr asked Lord Hall about the satirical sitcom W1A

Lord Hall doesn't veto the scripts

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