Friday, 25 May 2007

Celebrity Big Brother comes back to haunt me...

SUBJECT: What's all the fuss about?

Dear Kevin,

Sorry to hear about this Ofcom report, and I hope it hasn't caused you too much grief. They clearly do not understand the types of complex issues you and I face (on a daily basis) running hugely successful cutting-edge television brands in a highly competitive commercial marketplace.

But what concerns me more – and this is the whole reason why I am writing – are Andy Duncan’s frankly unfounded comments in the press that seem to suggest that I was somehow at fault for the ‘serious editorial misjudgements’? Could you please talk to him and explain some of the finer points of what happened? I would greatly appreciate it.

Does he really believe that I did not act with ‘necessary promptness and strength’??

As I fully explained to you at the time (and in my
Guardian piece which was very well received, by the way) my editorial decisions were in full accordance with Channel 4’s long tradition of not shying away from uncomfortable truths. Both Angela, Nav (of Indian parentage) and I (of Jewish ancestry) felt the behaviour of Jade et al was neither overtly offensive nor serious enough to intervene. I still stand by this.

[BTW did Andy not see the 16-24s spike?! Viewing figures went thermonuclear- I single handedly rescued the BB franchise from its ratings slump, and this is the thanks I get?]

Despite any 'criticism' over this whole affair, I remain absolutely committed to the core values of public service broadcasting – and we must never be afraid of opening up a window on a world that does not always make for pleasant or comfortable viewing.

It is our duty as programme makers.

Warm regards,

PS - As you can well imagine this furore has not gone down well with my new employers (who thought this whole matter had been put to bed long ago...) so any help you could give to rein in Andy would help tremendously - thanks!

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