Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The BBC Presenter as Celebrity ?

The BBC news has been reduced to casual conversation between mates comparing experiences: what it meant to them then and what it means to them now often with trivial speculation. ‘It ‘ is everything from the Monkees threatened revival to the reactions of Egypt’s rioters . I find it ‘toe curling’. I have absolutely no interest in their likes or dislikes; similarly their personal or family histories. I want to hear the news, the story, without the fog of the presenters personality.

Nor have a desire to see him or her take part , along with other D list celebrities, in one of the many gratuitous, embarrassing , ‘reality’ TV programs. Reality ? Another word for playing to camera, dubious cutting and scene selection.

The presenters need to have dignity , dear I say, gravitas many of the BBC news presenters have none. The BBC has come a long way from the days from when newsreaders were told to wear dinner jackets in the evenings and who could forget Alvar Lidell’s BBC English
when reading the news. I am not arguing for a return to that archaic BBC approach to news but one that reflects the zeitgeist while remaining dignified.

The BBC could learn much from Channel 4’s News Team who remain a respectful distance from their interviewees both on the spot reporters and the eye witness are questioned intelligently. This is in stark contrast to the BBC presenter who always seem to want to put the interviewee at ease or bond with them by sharing a common concern or interest.

Enough , I say to these BBC presenters, yes ask the questions in friendly, informed manner but please do not reduce the news interview to a casual chat between mates in a pub!

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