This time it is showing contrition over a presenter’s décolletage. Apparently Holly Willoughby has rather too much of one.
At least, she did when presenting the final of The Voice.
The BBC has been forced to apologise because some people found Holly’s outfit inappropriate.
To be fair, it’s a little extravagant to call it an outfit, covering as little as it did, but is it the worst crime committed by the BBC?
Not so, according to Philip Schofield, who has leapt to his friend’s defence – although being defended by the pompous former sidekick of a glove puppet is possibly not the best way of deflecting the criticism. We haven’t forgotten Schofe’s attempted ambush of Prime Minister David Cameron by waving on camera of a list of alleged sex abusers – something that really was worthy of an apology.
But it’s hard to see it as necessary for the BBC to actually come out and apologise for a television presenter, who is not unknown to wear revealing outfits, actually wearing a revealing outfit.
No doubt Holly will receive sympathy from Breakfast Time presenter Susanna Reid, who apparently sends the population (by population, I mean Daily Mail readership) into a lather if there’s even the faintest hint of cleavage before 9am.
I bet all those branches of the media who criticise the appearance of these television presenters still manage to reproduce the pictures of the outfits that cause such consternation, mind. (In fairness, this blog has forced itself to use a picture of la Willoughby, but then I wasn’t one of those who complained.)
Anyway, I digress a little.
Of greater need for an apology from the BBC is the continuing dumbing down of Question Time.
And I don’t necessarily mean inviting Russell Brand on the show – he has always made social commentary and there is a place for that level of it on a show that deals with such commentary.
But when the Guardian produces figures that reveal a failed candidate from The Apprentice has appeared on the show more times since the election than all the scientists in the world put together, then it’s time to be afraid.
Consider this, too: Brian Cox.
Even with the presence in our midst of a scientist deemed so accessible to the public that the BBC would normally bring him in to explain the physics behind re-sealable chocolate buttons packets, it is a little surprising that Katie Hopkins is considered more relevant to a flagship current affairs programme than the entire scientific world.
Mind you, when the same Guardian article reveals that Nigel Farage has managed to get a seat at the QT table eight times since the UK general election and, worse, George Galloway has been on five times, you begin to realise that it must believe only Daily Mail readers watch the show.
Which means Susanna Reid’s chances of ever being the host must be slim.
So the BBC should actually concentrate on sorting out some of the more important things.
The Holly situation is quite simple: tell her to wear a more susbstantial dress next time. Story over.
I fear Question Time is a bigger conundrum; as is the tendency in news coverage to rely on a few soundbite machines to provide the ‘news’ rather than detailed evidence – a tip perhaps picked up from certain government ministries.
If we pause the BBC bashing for a moment, let’s take a look at ITV’s flagship programme Coronation Street and the preposterous storyline involving Tina as a surrogate mum.
Apart from giving Michelle Keegan’s character a personality change every three episodes, it appears to have played fast and loose with how the surrogacy system works (apparently its highly unusual for a first time mum to be even considered as a surrogate) and, I suspect, has not done a great deal to assist people who find themselves in that difficult situation for real.
At least Corrie is meant to be fiction, even if it claims to be realistic.
There are worse crimes on ITV. Let’s remember one thing. Whatever the BBC does, it does not give Piers Morgan his own show.
For that we should be grateful to Auntie.
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