The BBC’s new director general is considering reversing the decision not to sing Rule Britannia! at the Last Night of the Proms, it has been reported.
Tim Davie, who takes over on Tuesday, is understood to believe his predecessor Lord Tony Hall’s move wreaked ‘terrible damage’ to the BBC, insiders have told the Sun.
The Last Night of the Proms has been hit with controversy surrounding the BBC’s decision to remove the lyrics from Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory after critics claimed the patriotic anthems were ‘racist’.
Classical-music enthusiasts have to watch the show from their sofas this year due to coronavirus restrictions as performers remained spaced out in a socially-distanced arrangement.
The BBC’s incoming director general Tim Davie is understood to be considering reversing the unpopular decision to perform Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory without lyrics
Ex-marketing executive Davie could immediately change the policy on not singing the lyrics at this year’s Proms when he takes up the role this week.
An insider told the Sun: ‘Tim’s immediate priority will be to undo the terrible damage done by Tony.
‘Tim has a chance to do a big, crowd-pleasing U-turn on a policy that is wildly unpopular.
‘Tim has already insisted on an announcement making clear that Rule Britannia will be sung at next year’s Proms.’
As it stands, the patriotic songs will be played by an orchestra only on September 12, supposedly because the lack of an audience will diminish their impact.
God Save the Queen and Jerusalem will still be played in full at the event, led by Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, 35, which will take place without an audience and with limited performers.
Two thirds of voters in an exclusive Daily Mail poll wanted the £157.50 television charge scrapped and 59 per cent believed the BBC was wrong over the Rule Britannia singing row
Critics have accused outgoing BBC boss Lord Tony Hall, pictured, of ‘walking into a completely unnecessary and absurd row about culture’ after the decision about the Proms was announced
The 1902 lyrics of Land of Hope and Glory are associated with Cecil Rhodes – the British imperialist whose statue is being removed from an Oxford college.
The decision to use instrumental versions of the patriotic anthems for the summer festival has drawn widespread anger – with staff at the corporation also venting their frustration at bosses’ apparent submission to ‘woke’ activists who find the anthems offensive.
One senior insider said: ‘This is another example of the BBC walking into a completely unnecessary and absurd row about culture.
‘It makes a lot of us despair when this kind of thing happens again and again.
‘There’s lots of things you can say about both of the songs and they are not up to the minute. But that’s the case with 99 per cent of our culture one way or the other.’
And ex-BBC chairman Michael Grade launched a blistering attack on the corporation, calling the decision ‘idiotic’ and a ‘ghastly mistake’ by bosses who have ‘lost touch’ with the British public.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week opposed the BBC’s decision.
He said: ‘I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history.’
The 1902 lyrics of Land of Hope and Glory traditionally performed are associated with Cecil Rhodes – the British imperialist whose statue is being removed from an Oxford college
The compromise was drawn up after incoming director general Tim Davie – who takes over on 1 September – intervened to insist both Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory were performed in some form.
It comes as an exclusive Daily Mail poll reveals growing public discontent with the broadcaster.
Two thirds of voters want the £157.50 television charge scrapped and 59 per cent believe the BBC was wrong over the Rule Britannia singing row.
BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie ‘will clamp down on presenters making money by hosting corporate events and rein in their use of social media’ as part of plan to restore impartiality at corporation
By Luke Andrews for MailOnline
The BBC’s new director-general will clamp down on presenters making money by hosting corporate events and restrain their use of social media, it has been reported.
Tim Davie, who takes over on Tuesday, is said to be planning to ‘shame’ stars out of taking controversial jobs and moonlighting for international companies by forcing them to declare the earnings publicly alongside their six-figure salaries.
He will also allegedly be taking an iron fist to the broadcaster’s social media policy and reminding employees, including the highest paid, that they cannot post what they like.
The expected move is believed to be part of Davies vision of putting impartiality at the heart of the BBC and ensuring it is worthy of the expensive £157.50 annual licence fee.
It follows accusations the broadcaster has become a victim of ‘woke group-think’ and the broadcast station for Black Lives Matter.
He will reportedly crack down on presenters taking extra work. Naga Munchetty was criticised after she agreed to appear in a corporate video for Aston Martin last month
A source close to Davies told the Sunday Times: ‘Tim sees impartiality as the cornerstone of the BBC.
‘We need to think about whether there are things that happen with outside interests and on social media that can erode trust and confidence.’
Another added: ‘Outside work causes BBC managers major headaches and often they’ll turn a blind eye. I’ve always thought it could be our version of the MPs’ expenses scandal.’
BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, the North America editor Jon Sopel, Question Time host Fiona Bruce and business editor Simon Jack have all been criticised for taking top ups to their hefty salaries.
They are all required to request approval from line managers before taking on extra work outside the corporation.
Jon Sopel, North America editor, was slammed last year for speaking at a tobacco conference
Davie will take over from Tony Hall (left) on Tuesday and make his maiden speech on Thursday
Former No 10 adviser launches a TV rival to ‘woke wet BBC’
A former Downing Street adviser is behind a secret new project to set up an ‘impartial’ television news channel to rival the crisis-hit BBC, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Sir Robbie Gibb – who was a senior BBC executive before becoming Theresa May’s director of communications at No 10 – is spearheading a drive to raise funds for GB News.
The 24-hour station, due to launch early next year, aims to capitalise on growing discontent over the BBC, with sources describing it as an antidote to the ‘woke, wet’ Corporation.
The BBC has been rocked by a series of controversies over what’s seen as its politically correct agenda, culminating in public outrage over its decision last week to perform Land Of Hope And Glory and Rule Britannia without their patriotic lyrics at the Last Night Of The Proms.
Munchetty, who earns up to £195,000-a-year, was warned last month that she faced a ‘conflict of interest’ after appearing in a corporate video for crisis-hit car maker Aston Martin.
She is believed to have earned up to £10,000 for the gig where she questioned the company’s vice-president Peter Freedman on how workers are being ‘protected’ despite the pandemic. Aston Martin made 500 redundancies in June.
Sopel, who earns £240,000, was attacked by health campaigners last year after he was paid to address executives at the tobacco giant Philip Morris’s staff conference in Miami.
Newsnight’s policy editor Lewis Goodall came under pressure when he was accused of ‘off the scale’ bias for writing for a Left-wing magazine attacking the government’s handling of the exam crisis.
Goodall claimed his article looked at the handling of exams by all political parties.
Davies is also set to address allegations of bias levelled at the corporation in his maiden speech on Thursday, after Lord Hall stands aside.
The Sunday Telegraph says he will touch on the findings of an internal review by former director of Global News Richard Sambrook, which raised concerns about a ‘small minority’ of journalsits working for the corporation whose conduct online had triggered complaints.
A source told the newspaper last night: ‘Tim buys into the idea of impartiality properly and you are going to hear a lot more about that in the coming months.’
A second added: ‘It would be surprising if an incoming director general did not set out his broad aims and objectives when he takes over the reigns. It would be surprising if he did not touch on the issue of impartiality, given it is such a live issue.’
Newsnight Policy editor Lewis Goodall came under pressure when he was accused of ‘off the scale’ bias for writing an article critical of the government in a left-wing magazine
As many as 14 Conservative MPs have written to the corporation to call on it to fulfil its role of being impartial.
The government previously boycotted BBC Radio 4’s Today programme amid allegations of bias.