Peter Bazalgette

Peter Bazalgette's TV diary

Peter Bazalgette at the RTS's 90th birthday party (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Up early to listen to radio news in the shower before I turn on for my daily dose of Good Morning Britain. Pay debates rumble on in the media kasbah.

The day after Carrie Gracie resigned as the BBC’s China editor, here she is presenting Radio 4’s Today, but barred from curating the news story about herself. A magnificent confusion worthy of Evelyn Waugh or David Lodge at their best.

The item itself is less than helpful, since the programme’s guest doesn’t seem to know the difference between equal pay and the gender pay gap.

Lord Burns: Privatising Channel 4 would be very damaging

David Abraham and Lord Burns

Burns, who stands down from Channel 4 later this month, told an audience of senior broadcasters, MPs and producers that its not-for-profit structure continues to be successful. 

Since his appointment in 2009, when the UK economy was on its knees, Channel 4 had delivered consistent yearly growth in advertising revenue, he pointed out.  

Burns reiterated his opposition to privatising Channel 4, an option back on the Government’s agenda.

However, he said it was worth considering if the broadcaster should make a fixed financial return to the state.

General Election 2015: did TV let the voters down?

Leaders debate 2015

Did the broadcasters’ coverage of the last general election actually determine its outcome? This was one of the key questions asked during what session chair Martha Kearney called an “inquest” into how television handled the run-up to polling day on 7 May.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg certainly thought so. He argued that there was too much of a focus on the possibility of a Labour/SNP tie-up and this “had two very big consequences. One, it had a determining factor on the outcome.

Profile: John Whittingdale

John Whittingdale

John Whittingdale is a conundrum. A politician who can seem old beyond his 55 years, he has been in Parliament since 1992, nine years longer than David Cameron. And, although only a few years older than his boss, Whittingdale’s style and political heritage are soundly late-Thatcher era, with a voting record that is pro-fox hunting and anti-gay marriage.

Yet, the freshly minted Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport also confounds stereotypes of the shire fogey with a mild interest in Gilbert and Sullivan.

TV diary: Peter Bazalgette

Peter Bazalgette

Apparently, I've not contributed a diary since 2010. Perhaps I only get invited in election years. In May 2010, I was also asked to review the different channels' election coverage by The Guardian.

On that occasion, I called it decisively for Sky News. ITN was fine but less dramatic. And the BBC, with its ship-of-fools party and an over-academic Vernon Bogdanor and a swingometer that couldn't cope with a three-way race and, and, and...