The UK media found itself in the slightly awkward position last week of reporting on itself. First up was the announcement by the BBC of the first female Doctor Who.
There are many people, myself included I must confess, who might question why the casting of a low budget sci-fi TV series is front page news. I haven’t watched Doctor Who since I was at primary school and I‘ve always regarded fans of the series, perhaps somewhat unfairly, as a rather odd bunch.
But front page news it undoubtedly was. Predictably a couple of the tabloids (The Sun and the Daily Mail) published nude or semi nude photos of actress Jodie Whittaker, the Mail even using the headline Doctor Nude. Funnily enough, I don’t remember too many nude pics of Peter Capaldi in the tabloids when he was confirmed in the role.
This was followed by the BBC’s publication of the salary details of the Corporation’s best paid presenters. The fact that the highest earners were all white middle aged, middle class men could surely come as a surprise to nobody.
The whole exercise struck me as a petty and vindictive piece of political point scoring by a Conservative Government which clearly has a grudge against public sector broadcasting.
Again, the coverage in the tabloids was predictably sneering and in some cases driven by vested commercial interests. Those newspapers which criticised the BBC for paying on air talent annual salaries of six figures are strangely quiet over the fact that the premiership footballers which they give sycophantic coverage to in their pages on a daily basis are paid six figure sums every week!
There is one piece of good news in all this. The fact that Peter Capaldi is no longer doing Doctor Who gives fresh hope to those of us who would like to see a new series of The Thick of It. I would love to hear what Malcolm Tucker makes of the current political landscape.