‘Who are you calling posh?’ BBC veterans David Dimbleby squares up to Today’s John Humphrys in live Radio 4 clash
- John Humphrys suggested David Dimbleby was posh on the Today programme
- Comments stemmed from him probing Dimbleby’s views on the Monarchy
- But Dimbleby hit back saying ‘I come from Wales, as you do. I am not posh’
They are two of the BBC’s biggest beasts, so the clash between John Humphrys and David Dimbleby yesterday was one to savour.
The pair locked horns on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme after Humphrys suggested to Dimbleby that he was posh.
‘John, there is a typical sneer in that question,’ Dimbleby hit back. ‘I am about as posh as you are. I come from Wales, as you do. I am not posh. I happened to have been a broadcaster for a long time.’
John Humphrys suggested David Dimbleby (pictured) was posh on the Today programme
Undeterred, Humphrys tried to justify his question, which stemmed from him probing Dimbleby’s views on the Monarchy. Humprhys asserted: ‘You had a very distinguished father’ – referring to the late broadcasting giant Richard Dimbleby. ‘But that doesn’t make me posh,’ replied Dimbleby. ‘I had a distinguished father. That’s a ridiculous question.
‘No, but the point is about the Monarchy. I’m not close to the Monarchy. I’ve met the Queen probably less often than you. I’ve met her once, I think. I have no connection at all.’
Comments stemmed from Humphry’s probing Dimbleby’s views on the Monarchy
Charterhouse and Oxford-educated Dimbleby, who recently stepped down as the host of Question Time, was guest editor of yesterday’s Today programme and used the interview with Humphrys to call on the BBC to slash its number of executives.
‘It has far too many management people in it… I think the business of cutting back the bureaucracy is really important,’ he said, adding that he had applied for the posts of BBC director-general and chairman in recent years.
In response to Dimbleby’s comments, a BBC spokesperson said “A lot of things have changed in recent years and the plain fact is we’ve halved the number of senior managers – we don’t have more managers compared with lots of other organisations.”
The Mail on Sunday last week revealed that the BBC had awarded bumper pay rises to bosses at the same time as it is considering axeing free TV licences for the over-75s.
How the Beeb’s big beasts measure up…
Parents: Broadcasting icon Richard Dimbleby and Dilys Thomas, who met when both were trainee reporters.
Education: Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford.
Early career: Joined the BBC as a news reporter in Bristol in the 1960s. Worked with father on 1964 Election.
Marital status: Divorced from cookery writer Josceline Dimbleby. Now married to Belinda Giles, granddaughter of Lord Buckhurst.
On the BBC: ‘It has too many management people in it.’
Parents: Winifred Matthews, a hairdresser, and Edward George Humphrys, a French polisher.
Education: Cardiff High, a grammar school. Left aged 15.
Early career: Reporter on the Penarth Times and Western Mail. Then local TV, joining the BBC in 1966.
Marital status: Marriage to Edna Wilding dissolved in 1991 after 27 years. Later had a long relationship with BBC colleague Valerie Sanderson.
On the BBC: ‘It should be a civilising influence on the nation.’