BBC

Top Gear’s Cenotaph apology proves just how much the show is missing Clarkson and his balls

It is open season for attacking the new series of Top Gear and the first shot has been fired. A former British military commander criticised one of the show’s hosts Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver who performed “doghnuts” near the Cenotaph in Whitehall during an interview with BBC Radio 5 live. Col Richard Kemp said […]

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Top Gear Cenogaffe: A PR Monstrosity

No one seems to have gotten out of the Top Gear Cenotaph-gaffe unscathed. The presenters have been throttled into unreserved contrition. The BBC has been branded foolish for giving the go-ahead to the £100,000 stunt and Westminster council have been labelled naïve. The area’s commitment to low emissions also took a beating with the noxious […]

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It was true at the time: does it matter that yesterday Chris Evans was lying and today he is telling the truth?

Last Autumn it was ‘100% not true’. This Spring it was ‘absolute nonsense’. On Tuesday the BBC announced that Chris Evans had signed up for a three year stint as Top Gear presenter. Like conkers and daffodils in Summertime, the veracity of past statements becomes irrelevant in the time-space continuum of our mediascape. Evans, the […]

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Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC: the corporation’s latest comms crisis

Remember this new word: ‘voyeurgasm’ – translated as the joy of watching a media storm meltdown on all channels. Crisis and Clarkson fit hand in glove. He is a man resolutely himself, much loved and widely loathed. So, let’s mutter the unsayable – it will be a sad day when Clarkson packs away his webbed […]

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Suarez, shame and the not-so-beautiful game

The BBC crowned Liverpool player Luis Suarez the king of football controversy yesterday afternoon following the FA’s announcement that they have handed him a massive 10 match ban. The scandal has had scribblers on the sidelines outraged at football’s reputation since. Left, right and centre, commentators have been clamouring to declare that football’s reputation is […]

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Selfridge’s Guide to Suprasexual Seduction

AS the January sales wear on urging us to grab our discounts before they end, we should spare a thought for Harry Gordon Selfridge, born 149 years ago today. It is only fitting that the week of Selfridge’s birthday has been marked by the launch of two television series celebrating the rise and rise of […]

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The Voice vs BGT: Cowell’s Monopoly on Showmanship

However much we hate him, anyone even vaguely interested in the saccharine world of Saturday Night Telly needs to say a quick prayer at the altar of Simon Cowell. Whatever side you came down on, the whole BGT/The Voice battle proved that, as an individual and a brand, he drives the whole weekend entertainment market […]

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Absolutely Fatuous: The Ravages of Misdirected Satire

It’s pretty ironic that the proposed return of Absolutely Fabulous this Christmas has been getting so much attention. With the stars splashed all over the culture media and some big news stories, anyone familiar with the industry can spot the tell-tale signs of a hardworking publicist beavering away. Yet this presumably highly professional and efficient […]

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Brand Glastonbury: the survival of the muddiest

“The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men – the man he is and the man he wants to be.” William Feather I’m off to wade in the ever-welcoming Somerset mud. Yes, it’s work not pleasure, especially considering the Glastonbury Festival regularly descends into a […]

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Careful what you wish for in the new communications age

According to Private Eye, Times media correspondent Patrick Foster was sacked after being earwigged by the BBC’s head of Press during a call in which he made a rather inappropriate comment to Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s chief operating officer. Paul Mylrea, head of press at the Beeb, swiftly raced off a letter of complaint to […]

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The Ghosts of Business Nightmares Past

I’ll be appearing on BBC2 next week, as one of the interviewees in three part series Business Nightmares, with Evan Davis. I’ll be appearing in all three episodes, which cover product design and manufacture, marketing and PR and strategy and deals, discussing stories such as Sunny Delight, Hoover free flights, Ratner, Mini, New Coke and […]

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Malcolm McLaren: Great Lives

Today’s Great Lives on Radio 4 is a look at the life of the great rock and roll swindler, Malcolm McLaren, who died earlier this year. He was nominated for the programme by me. Here’s the blurb from the BBC website. “‘I’ve been called many things,; McLaren wrote as advance publicity for his one man […]

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Miners, Footballers and Owning the Story

Listening to yesterday’s Broadcasting House on Radio 4, my sense that the Chilean miners were set to be exploited to the hilt kicked into high gear, listening to the investigative journalist Jonathan Franklin being interviewed about his forthcoming book on the extraordinary experience the 33 men went through. He was slick and sharp – an […]

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Big Mouth Strikes Again

Has Chris Moyles lost his marbles? Or just thrown them out of the pram? His tirade, live on air earlier this week accusing his employers of non payment of his salary, was a foolish public outburst that he might well come to regret. The BBC has always been worried about the talent becoming bigger than […]

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The Great Papal Turnaround

Before the Papal three-ring-circus moved into town, I was asked by a number of media outlets what I thought of the Pope’s PR apparatus. At the time, I commented that it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this anachronistic throwback was not fit for modern media purpose. Lacking charisma (in stark contrast with […]

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Edinburgh Fringe: Where is the Love?

I’m up in Edinburgh at the moment, watching the excitement at the Fringe’s street level crank up several notches as the performers prepare for a multitude of launch parties. Whilst it’s great to see all these performers building themselves up into a state of anticipatory frenzy, I am left wondering why the Scottish media aren’t […]

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