It’s a new BBC TV game show ‘Who wants to be a Mark Byford’

by John Darvall

So this new TV game show ‘Who Wants to be Mark Byford’ has already had its pilot and it was very well received by the top brass at the BBC. It’s a very simple format. The contestant sits there and the host, the attractive Lucy Adams, asks no questions and offers sweeteners until you get £1,000,000. And there has already been one winner of the big prize with other contestants getting close too.

Even the Banker, in the form of Former Barclays Chairman and BBC executive Marcus Aigus will sign off your ‘winnings’, with no questions asked. The only criterion to being a contestant is that you have to be on the top floor of the BBC. That’s you and me out then, but hey it’s always nice to see someone else do well, isn’t it.

No it isn’t.

This week has not been a good week for the BBC, an organisation that I am very proud to work for and very proud of those who work for it. Well, most of them. But how anyone can claim ‘value for money’, our money, when giving someone twice what they are contractually entitled too when shown or heading for the exit is appalling. But the worst is that the former deputy DG of the BBC was not the only one to trouser a great wad our money when he left the building. We pay the licence fee for programmes we watch and listen to, not to be given in excess to those who run the BBC.

The bench mark in these things is always the Prime minister’s salary or the country of Wales in size terms but neither can compare to the sheer stupidity of giving public money to those leaving a public body over and above what they are contractually entitled to. Yet despite the anger, the questions and the appalling answers given by some, nothing.

Whether it is government, the BBC or any public service we all pay for, the money paid at the top never equates to the money paid at the bottom. For many that not only hurts from the injustice but in the pocket too.
Maybe the BBC will learn and make sure that those who made these dreadful mistakes are never let near a room where these sorts of decisions are made in the future or ever near a company cheque book again.

On the other hand, who wouldn’t trouser a big wad of cash from their employer if it was on the table … ‘we don’t want to give you that’ as Chris Tarrant says on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. At least in that game show you have to answer questions properly.