“Psst, hey, you there, yes Jeremy, whatever your name is. Paxo? Hey, I’ve got somebody I want you to talk to, I mean with, on your little programme tonight. Thing is ole Pollard’s come up trumps for us and it’s business as usual from now on only we on the Trust would like you to make the Plumber sweat a bit – cocky little devil thinks he’s got his feet under the table now so could you unsteady him?”
“Well quite honestly I couldn’t say no to him, could I? After all, he does pull the strings around here and, if we don’t behave, he’ll sell us off to China and that just wouldn’t do. I’d be dispensed with for some twenty three year old floosy straight away. So, OK, bring him on and I’ll do what our John did to his predecessor.
“But this is a bit embarrassing, though. I mean, I’ve got to stand up there and tell our trusting viewers….well, OK, I’ve got to stand up and tell our viewers how we on this tiny little programme dropped two major clangers in less than a year and butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth and I never suspected a thing. Mind, I can badmouth the editor now he’s sort of in the process of being side-stepped into other duties [aot frogmarched off the premises].”
“What we’ll do is get an independent reporter to give the “History of the Affair” and then he can say “Pollard says the BBC didn’t do it in bad faith and no-one in the higher management saw anything about the Savile expose programme and, of course, didn’t need to bring the police in, so couldn’t have put a dampener on the Christmas Savilator Specials” and still manage to keep a straight face.”
“Brilliant. OK, going live now: Well, now then Mr Plumber it seems we’re OK then and all the management need do is shuffle about a bit, switch offices and it’s Christmas bonuses all round. Mind you it’d be better for me if you could just sack the editor. Or maybe use one of those guillotine things that are so the rage at the moment. Anyway, can’t you reduce him to Janitor status? The public need to see pain and suffering equal to their own”.
“Look Jeremy – I can call you Jeremy, can’t I – I am not just here to sack people, you know. I mean, I could sack you now, if I wanted to [smiles, thinking he’s made a joke] but I’m here to get the BBC trussed, to get us more and more trussed in fact. That’s exactly what that man called Robert told me I had to do.
“And anyway we have had the DG resign – there was real suffering. He’s a pauper now, I gather. And now we’ve got ANOTHER resignation with Mitchell resigning today”
“Today?” [Precise, inquisitional, onto the ropes].
“Well he’s told us about it today but, of course, he’ll have to stay to teach his replacement what to do when he actually leaves the building, because when he does that he’ll be gone and well and truly resigned. Actually on the day he was already scheduled to retire so he can start to draw his fat BBC pension pretty much on the same day, so that’s all very neat and tidy too. I’m so good at this job.”
“But Helen?” [Once more, this’ll floor him].
“Oh yes well she’s deeply sorry yes and we’re going to retrain her. Her office is going to be repainted and maybe I’ll run in a useful sink in the corner. In future absolutely she’ll be a culturally different person. I may task her to lead a strategic partnership with the fundamental understanding to crystallise an agenda that can be forwarded to strategic locations thus leading to cultural changes.”
“That sounds a tad Maoist, don’t you think – cultural revolution within the BBC?”. [Smirks.]
“Absolutely. Totally. Transparently. New agenda. Look, we made a fucking great cock up, we paid this geezer two million smackers to give us a total whitewash and yes I do think that was money well spent and if you value your bloody reputation you’d better not quibble about that. Right? Look, if it was down to me I’d sack the lot of ’em – they’re all bloody wankers and couldn’t twist a spanner for the life of ’em. But I’ve gotta do it their way and Pollard was worth every penny.
“We are off air now, aren’t we?”