Decorators needed at the BBC
Amid the Huw Edwards scandal/farce/cock up – whatever your journalese description of choice – this week, one issue not yet faced up by the BBC is how to deal with their brand after years of hyping up Huw as the face of BBC News.
Not only could this potentially impact the replayability of the announcement of the Queen’s death, election results and the Coronation, but there’s also an issue closer to home.
Anyone who’s ever stepped foot inside BBC Broadcasting House in central London will know that, rather awkwardly now, Huw’s giant face looks down on the central desk space from four floors up.
Might Victoria Derbyshire be getting a new headshot taken soon?
I’ll take no lecterns from the Hon. Member…
Rishi’s new podium undoubtedly stole the show on social media during and after his big NATO summit.
The frequent churn of PMs in 2022 finally woke Britain up to the intriguing tidbit in British politics of every PM getting their own bespoke lectern, most commonly seen when speaking in the street outside No. 10.
David Cameron’s was bold but curved – very 2010; Theresa May’s was very skinny – weak and wobbly; Boris’s was handsome and wide – so he could gesticulate and thump it when speaking; Liz Truss’s was an odd and artistic “Jenga” design – which ultimately came tumbling down; and Rishi’s is dull, dull, dull.
Mr Sunak’s was actually a cast off of a backup from the Truss team which they ended up not using.
In Lithuania this week a new podium was revealed, looking like something your teenage child could probably whip up in a year’s-worth of Design & Technology classes.
Now it transpires that was all a great distraction, and no such change has occurred. It was in fact just a very old lectern rescued from the British embassy in Lithuania for the purpose of the speech.
In other lectern news, Liz Truss launched her new Growth Commission from Westminster this week, with the speakers standing behind one of those scaffolding-type metal stands when explaining how screwed the British economy is.
One Tory source subsequently informed Beachcomber of the name of that type of lectern: a Truss Lectern…
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Tories level down Mansion House
The Chancellor’s mansion house speech earlier this week was a slightly more newsworthy affair, with big changes to pension investments unveiled by Jeremy Hunt.
On the face of it, the event was seriously lacking in pomp. Mr Hunt donned a dull as ditchwater suit for his big speech, flying in the face of everything the Tories should hold dear.
The event is meant to be white tie, but almost all Tory chancellors have at least managed to pop over to Jermyn Street and pick up a dickie bow for the evening.
Ken Clarke, Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Philip Hammond, among others, all managed to dress up for the occasion.
That seemingly changed in 2021, after a brief break for Covid, when Rishi Sunak took to the stage in… a typically skinny lounge suit.
While readers may presume this was to do with Mr Sunak not wanting to look out of touch, City of London sources inform Beachcomber the change actually came in because of the extreme 40-degree heat London was experiencing in 2022, and “everyone was quite happy to be more casual”.
The question, surely, now turns to whether Rachel Reeves can be relied upon to bring back some glamour to the occasion in 2024…
Another entry in Rishi’s register of interests for first-class air travel was published this week: a £16,139.33 helicopter journey “to a political conference on June 9, 2023”.
Checking the calendar the conference in question was undoubtedly that of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, who had spent the day – among other topics – discussing just how rubbish the north’s transport infrastructure is.
Still, even given failures by various train operators, most attendees from London managed to get to Doncaster just fine without a £16 grand helicopter trip…
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