I’ve heard it said many a time that BBC staff are incredibly difficult to manage and inspire, because they are mostly cynical, disrespective of authority and generally think they know better than anyone else. So for us BBC staff to walk out in support of our boss is quite frankly amazing. Unreal.
I was in BBC London/Training HQ for some creativity work, so we were a tad isolated while hell broke loose less than 10 minutes away. We’d get the odd breathless update about the walkout from someone rushing out to join them – so real “live” news items actually got people around me excited – kinda like the day when Thatcher resigned and the Deputy Head of my school went round each classroom telling everyone. You could hear the cheer echoing down the corridor.
Watching the news footage of the people who did gather outside Broadcasting House, TV Centre and other places (including Cardiff) was just incredible. These are, by and large, usually rather cynical staff who tend to be blase about big initiatives. So to see them all “striking” is amazing.
Credit to Dyke himself. If you’re being hounded out of a top job, it’d be understandable if you were bitter, self-serving and lambasting the people who secured your resignation. Instead, he spent his last day trying to inspire newsroom journalists (a cynical bunch at the best of times) and saved his anger, rightly, for the not-in-the-real-world Hutton inquiry, and those who wanted to kowtow.
I’m a lowly peon as far as the BBC goes – at least 10 rungs below the ladder of Dyke and the Executive Committee. But even a lowly person such as myself has at least been in the same room with him on at least three occasions. I probably could have nattered with him if I felt like it. Which is amazing in itself. And of course, these hands “broke” the original news of Dyke’s accession to Director-General when I was a beeb.com typist way back in 1997. (eee by gum eck them were days but that’s another story)
Greg Dyke. We’ll miss you.