BBC Crisis: David Dimbleby Slams Bloated Management And 'Gobbledegook' Culture (VIDEO)

12/11/2012 12:22 | Updated 12 November 2012

Veteran BBC presenter David Dimbleby has hit out at bloated management and a culture of "gobbledegook" at the corporation.

The Question Time host said the broadcaster could not find good director-generals because it was being "throttled" by its own bureaucracy.

His comments and analysis about the crisis engulfing the broadcaster, made on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme and in the Daily Telegraph, have been widely praised, with some Twitter users suggesting that he should become the next director-general.

david dimbleby

Dimbleby has hit out at the BBC's management culture

In addition, over the course of the interview on Today, he actually outlined his CV, explaining that he'd been at the BBC for 50 years and worked across a huge range of departments.

In the interview with fellow veteran broadcaster John Humphrys, Dimbleby insisted: "In my opinion it is still over-managed and the management still speak gobbledegook.

"Any editor, any head of department spends their lives filling in forms and answering questions about things that are not really necessary using language that is so arcane, about platforms and genres and goodness knows what."

He pointed out that George Entwistle's previous title before his abortive stint as DG had been head of "vision" rather than head of television.

"It has gone bonkers at that level," he added.

The presenter said the existing culture did not produce "good director-generals".

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"You get people who have played the game very carefully, one against the other... they just don't have the stomach for what is needed," he said.

Dimbleby said it would be "absurd" for BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten to resign over the controversy. But he added: "I think he should reflect on why he chose George."

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Dimbleby suggested the nature of Mr Entwistle's departure demonstrated that he was not right for the job.

"The fact that he chose to resign rather than fight shows that he was not the right choice for Director-General. The DG has to fight like a tiger to defend the BBC and George did not do that," he added.

"The trouble is that the BBC in recent years has throttled itself with its own bureaucracy - which saps the energy of its staff and demoralises them.

"It is over-managed and badly managed so that no-one knows how or where decisions are taken.

"The upshot is a crazy system where George as head of television, when told of the Savile suspicions, ends up saying that he does not want to show 'undue interest' in something that clearly radically affects his programming."

David Dimbleby also defended the BBC. When asked by Humphrys if this was the greatest crisis in the history of the BBC, he said: "No, I think that's hyperbole. I think that's unnecessary. I think what it is, it's one of the greatest internal crisis in the BBC.

"I go round the country every week to different places and people speak with pride and gratitude for what the BBC does. The BBC is the greatest broadcasting organisation in the world and it remains so. What it has is a crisis of management of its own making.

"I've worked in the news, for Panorama, I've worked in events, I've worked on features, on films, I've worked in all parts of the BBC. The staff work all hours for the love and belief for public service broadcasting.

Humphrys reminded Dimbleby that he had run for the director-general's job and asked him where he would have taken the BBC if he'd been chosen for the role.

He said: "I ran for the director-general's job and I twice ran for chairman, god help me. Exactly what I've said. I believe that good, plain speaking is what's needed, not gobbledegook."

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