Saturday, 9 January 2010


Interesting reflections on the BBC from Simon Mayo in todays Telegraph

Mayo expressed concern at the way issues surrounding relligious belief were treated by the Corporation.

Mayo, who has joined The Telegraph as a columnist said: “I’ve just listened to David Tennant on Desert Island Discs. His father was a minister and that was seen to be a problem [by Kirsty Young, presenter]. Religion is increasingly driven to the margin.

“I was listening to a BBC news bulletin during Easter 2008 about services to mark "the rebirth of Christ", “a line clearly written by someone who had no contact with or understanding of the concept of resurrection.

“My brother works for the BBC religious affairs unit and told him I couldn’t believe it.”

The corporation was criticised after it recruited Aaquil Ahmed, a Muslim programme-maker, as the BBC's new head of religion and ethics last year.

Mr Ahmed's appointment raised concerns at the top level of the Church of England, which warned that the BBC must not ignore its Christian audience.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was reported to have told the director general, Mark Thompson, that the "Christian voice" was being sidelined.

Mayo, 51, the former Radio 5 Live presenter, suggested that an anti-Christian theme is now apparent in television comedians from Eddie Izzard down.

"They are at the forefront of the new atheism", he said.

Mayo, who has been presenter of a BBC Radio Five Live weekday afternoon programme since May 2001, will take over the Radio 2 Drivetime show from Chris Evans on Monday.

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