Wednesday, 24 February 2016


I have known Tony Blackburn forever. I count him as a friend, and I am appalled by the BBC's sacking of him. If Lord Tony Hall and the Corporation think that they can destroy his fine fifty-year career for the most threadbare of reasons - that he couldn't remember attending a meeting - they have lost the plot.
What on earth are they doing? Shooting themselves in the foot, for one thing: Pick of the Pops has a greater audience than anything else on the BBC. The Daily Mail's story about this yet-another-historic-'sex abuse'-scandal does read, to me, as though the poor girl who took her own life all those years ago had self-esteem and mental health issues, and had created a fantasy life which, at such a vulnerable young age, she came to regret - then punished herself in the most tragic way. Awful for her and her family, of course - how do those left behind ever recover from that? - but devastating for Tony that all this should now resurface, tainting his name and robbing him of his job. He is a decent guy, a devoted husband to Debbie, and the proudest of fathers to beautiful, talented Victoria.
Time to do a Gambo and begin keeping a diary,TB. Do it today. Paul said that it was the one thing that gave him a focus, kept him sane, and sustained him through the gruelling months of fear, when at one point he believed that he would end his days in a prison cell. Finally, when charges were dropped and he emerged triumphant, he was able to assemble the whole experience into manuscript form. His acclaimed memoir 'Love, Paul Gambaccini' was published without a hitch last year. It set the public record straight ... and he had the last laugh.

No one is laughing here. Not by any count. But I believe that the BBC has gone too far this time.

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