How to save the BBC

Back in the days of the Great Radio Crisis in the late 1950s, when the BBC’s radio audience was deserting in millions for television, someone pointed out that the real problem was that radio had been invented first. If television had come first, radio would have addressed itself to the needs that television could not meet: motorists, manual workers, small localities – all the audiences that radio now satisfies. Instead, the BBC tried desperately to hang on to all the drama, documentary and variety output that the audience had stopped listening to. Eventually, of course, the logic of broadcasting prevailed. But the adaptation was slow and painful.

ANTONY JAY - Tuesday, 1st July, 2008