Paxman hits out at BBC's “declining empire”


By John Glenday, Reporter

February 21, 2012 | 2 min read

Abrasive Newsnigh host Jeremy Paxman has turned his ire onto his employers after describing the public service broadcaster as constituting a “declining empire”.

Paxman made the comments after laying into the beeb’s estate building programme, which he believes to be a waste of license fee payers’ money.

Speaking to the Radio Times Paxman singled out the corporations £1bn flit from West London to a renovated Broadcasting House in London, highlighting the contradiction of laying off thousands of workers and cutting programming budgets amidst such extravagance.

Having attacked management strategy Paxman then turned his ire on colleagues after being asked if working for the BBC was like the last “echoes of empire”, Paxman claimed his colleagues were “far too politically correct” for that.

Paxman railed: “Funny though, isn’t it, that they always said that the way you know if the British are going to decolonise is when they start building massive government buildings – that was certainly the case in India.

“And the BBC’s much the same. What organisation – at a time when it has no money, allegedly – would move from cheap square footage in west London to Oxford Circus?”

A BBC spokesperson dismissed the criticism, saying: "We are surprised that Jeremy did not know that the move to Broadcasting House will save the BBC more than £700 million.”


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