Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Frying tonight

I mentioned yesterday that Mr Salmon (hence the dreadful pun in the title), head of BBC North, intends to direct operations from that Northern bastion, London.

So I've dropped the Director-General of the BBC a line, applying for Mr. Salmon's job. I like the North, I live here (cue the arguments about whether the Dark Place is North) and I could do with a salary of about half a million pounds. Think of all the whippets and flat caps I could buy with that!

Dear Mr. Thompson,
I've read in numerous papers that the Head of BBC North, Mr Salmon, does not intend to move to Salford with his section of the BBC.
In any normal institution, this would constitute a resignation, given that one would expect the generals to lead from the front, so I'd like to apply for his job. 
I'm actually from the North (Stoke, currently working in The Dark Place) and am familiar and in love with the diverse cultures of the region. Off the top of my head, the features of Northern English culture I'd highlight would be the still powerful working-class movements, the range of cuisine from Grimsby's fish to Stoke's oatcakes, the vibrant musical scenes of the CBSO, the LPO, the Hallé, Huddersfield's Contemporary Music Festival, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield's popular music scenes, Newcastle's club cultures, the art movements bursting out of all these cities. Like London, the North is racially and culturally diverse, but perhaps in formations different from the capital - all these things need exploration by the state broadcaster.
It's time that the BBC stopped seeing the North through tourists' eyes. The move to Salford is a hugely positive step, but it need to be done convincingly and honestly: treating it as some kind of Siberian gulag or outpost to be visited by Southern executives via internal flights or first-class train for half a day won't impress anyone. Northern licence-payers demand authenticity, not the occasional pat on the head. BBC Wales has done an amazing job over recent years - time BBC North got the chance to become a cultural powerhouse.
So how about it? Fresh insights, new accents. No more whippets and flat caps, just commitment, depth and knowledge. 
Yours, Vole.
What to you reckon to my chances? 

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