What’s on : Lectures
“Inside the BBC”.
Colin Philpott, writer and producer
Colin has a fascinating collection of stories from twenty-five years in front of and behind camera in the BBC. He worked as a reporter on many BBC programmes including Newsnight, Breakfast News, BBC News, File on 4 as well as regional news programmes across the North of England and a host of BBC Local Radio stations. He was also a producer, editor and senior manager, including as Head of BBC Yorkshire for seven years where he was responsible for revamping BBC Look North with new presenters and new more localised editions. He has a collection of anecdotes about what really goes on behind the scenes at our radio and television studios. A staunch supporter of the value of the BBC, he has forthright views on the the organisation’s role in society in the past, the present and into the future.
A talk to celebrate the BBC Centenary in 2022.
This lecture will be held on Zoom at 7.30pm (GMT) and invitations will be sent to YPS members and the general mailing list two days before the event. This is a free event but non members can help to cover our lecture programme costs by donating here:
Image: Creative Commons
To mark the BBC’s centenary, this lecture was a largely anecdotal account of 25 years work as presenter, producer and regional head. There were accounts of early mistakes, near disasters (including personal involvement in a rail crash) as well as successes, and briefly touched on controversial areas such as the fallout from the 2003 Hutton Report on the BBC’s reporting of the Iraq debacle.
As head of BBC Yorkshire, Philpott created the ‘Look North’ news programme, using popular presenters, which improved audience figures, and proved that local radio and TV were important and should not be lost in BBC cuts.
The BBC’s standing both nationally and internationally is based on its impartiality and reputation as a trustworthy source of information. Perceived bias tends to be in the mind of beholders on both sides of a question but, notably, both sides relied on the BBC for accurate reporting during the Northern Ireland conflict. The temptation to be sensational about disasters – rail crashes, explosions and the like – is resisted. Instead, reporters are encouraged to wait to get accurate information before broadcasting, and to be mindful of the sensitivities of those involved.
The BBC is unique in its efforts to be impartial; in cost it is cheap compared to other broadcasters; its value is in its range and soft power, nationally and internationally.