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What Jeremy Clarkson Doesn't Get About Salford

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So Jeremy Clarkson would rather resign than follow the BBC up north. I'm not sure under what circumstances this would be expected of him so I'm left with the feeling that he is issuing forth just to make a point. And his point is that to relocate away from London would diminish the Oxbridge level concentration of television talent and result in the employment of people from Salford.

Yes, and hopefully yes - and that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, quite the opposite.

Time was when there were people at the BBC known as the "Bafta Bastards". They were untouchable because of what they had attained - they could call the shots and were politically powerful enough to make the lives of other uncomfortable.

The trouble with the "Bafta Bastard's" is that everything was about them - rather than the encouragement and development of talent five or ten years down the line. The move to Salford can be argued in terms of the investment of the license fee up and down the land, both in infrastructure spending and job creation.

But I would argue that the move of programming to Salford (and Glasgow) is part of a braver move that,contrary to the opinion of Mr Clarkson, could have a positive impact in the long term development of broadcasting talent in the UK.

The visibility of media roles drives aspirations. There are regional broadcasters certainly but they are not the powerhouses of production that they once were. The presence of the BBC brand and BBC jobs up and down the country will turn more children and young adults to the range of occupations possible.

Then there is the diversity angle. In the strongest sense of the word it is about truly utilising the talents of people from all backgrounds - not for some higher moral reason but to ensure that the organization has access to more people with the potential to be great across all the professions that support and sustain the broadcasting industry.

Not everyone can be in London and the best people may finally make their way to the metropolis, however, here is an opportunity to develop and stretch talented people drawing from and developing skills in a wider pool to build a stronger pipeline of talent for the BBC and the industry in general.

Salford may not be to everyone's taste but it represents a significant piece of strategy on the part of an organisation often paralysed by the levels of criticism and scrutiny it operates under. So if it is a choice of investing in the "Bafta Bastards" or the future, the movement of productions and spending outside London is a vote for the latter. And for the record - I'm not sure whether Jeremy Clarkson has a Bafta...