Getting sacked from the BBC must be a surreal experience. You have to keep popping back into your old place of work repeatedly in order to do radio and TV interviews with the BBC about being sacked. Tomorrow Tony Blackburn appears on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, which probably records in the same building that Tony would work at when presenting his Radio Two shows. Blackburn’s interview for the programme has actually already been recorded today. He normally broadcasts on Radio 2 on a Saturday. He was probably in the very same building at the same time as usual, only instead of broadcasting on Radio 2, he went next-door and talked about being fired on Radio 4. He probably saw whoever’s taken over his show in the corridor. What with all the sudden interest in Tony Blackburn, he’s actually been on BBC TV and radio more in the last couple of days than he ordinarily would when he actually worked for the BBC.
The whole Tony Blackburn sacking situation seems rather nebulous, given that the BBC have been very vague about the whole thing, to the point that on Thursday morning you had the BBC news suggesting that the BBC had sacked him, although the BBC at that time were refusing to comment. So the BBC was reporting an iledged sacking, but then saying that the BBC had yet to comment. Again, we’re probably talking about people in the same building here. Tony Blackburn probably popped next-door after his sacking, told BBC news that he’s just been sacked, then Someone from BBC news popped next-door and asked the BBC bosses, who were all conveniently assembled in the one room as if they’d just been having a really important meeting about sacking one of their high-profile presenters.
“Damn!” thinks the boss, “why do we have such an on-the-ball and efficient news team? I’ve been hoisted by my own petard, as I’m the one who sanctions their training.”
The boss sees that the news reporter has just spied his file, open on his desk, with the words “Tony Blackburn Sacking” written on it in big bold letters. He panics, and desperately starts wracking his brain to find a way out. “Hide the evidence,” he thinks. He picks up the file and tries to shove it in his mouth, hoping that he can eat it, but it’s no use, the file is too wide and thick to go in his mouth, plus he realises that this would arouse even more suspicion – a trained BBC News journalist would notice that kind of thing. And anyway, he also looked at his colleagues and remembered that they also had files on their desk with the words “Tony Blackburn Sacking” written on in big bold letters. He would have to think of something clever to say to get out of this one, and fast.
“No comment,” he shouted. He realised that he was sounding hysterical, which hardly helped his cause. So he said “no comment” again, only much more casually, and then leant back in his chair, hoping to convey the notion that he was totally cool and relaxed. Sadly, this last move last move backfired, as he’d completely forgotten that his chair didn’t have a back, meaning that he toppled backwards off his chair, and landed on the floor with his legs in the air. He tried to grab hold of the desk to steady him, but it was too late. All that happened was that he fell, bringing the file with him which landed hard on his face.
At this point, a BBC news cameraman shuffled into the office with his equipment, ready to cover the story. He couldn’t let this happen. He was lying on the floor with his legs in the air in the most ignominious pose, with a file on his head boldly displaying the words “Tony Blackburn Sacking.” And he knew that the cameraman wasn’t going to miss a shot like this. He’d been given BBC training, he knew this because again, he’d organised the training. He cursed the proficiency of his staff.
He scrambled to his feet and shouted at the assembled news team, telling them that he’d sack them all if they dared to broadcast this. The news team slumped back next-door, disappointed. They’d have to miss out on another exclusive. They knew that Sky would start broadcasting the news in the next few minutes, and then it wouldn’t be too long before the rest of the news outlets caught-up. Eventually the BBC would report on “rumours of the sacking of Tony Blackburn by the BBC,” and state that there is, “as of yet, no comment rom the BBC,” even though the sodding thing had taken place at the other side of their studio wall.
Anyway, I hadn’t planned to write a tangential fictional story, but sometimes I start writing these Dollops and get carried away with a scenario or a subject that I hadn’t really intended to write about. I had intended to talk more seriously about the BBC, and how it seems sometimes as if they’re almost actively trying to hang themselves, but I never got around to talking about that. I aim for serious, but my brain is clearly more comfortable going on weird fictitious flights of fancy. Anyway, it’s gone 7 o’clock now, and so I don’t have time to write any more or worry that this is a bit haphazard and weird. I suppose that
this is maybe one of the strengths of this project. Perhaps a blog post like this would never see the light of day if I was writing less regularly, because I’d try and tidy it up or develop it more, but the need to produce on a daily basis sometimes means that there isn’t that luxury. I suppose you could either see that as a strength of this project or a weakness. I’m not sure. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel when I look back on these Dollops in the future. I hope you got something out of it anyway. As always, feel free to comment, and I’ll be back tomorrow.