BBC now sanctions major documentary series covering a century of its own scandals

BBC is sanctioning major series spanning a century of its own scandals – and will likely include Bashir’s interview with Diana, his handling of the Savile sex abuse scandal, and obscene calls aired on The Russell Brand Show

  • In three parts, presented by David Dimbleby, endorsed by CEO Tim Davie as a key part of the Company’s centennial celebrations next year
  • An insider said Mr Davie felt the BBC had to ’empty the swamp’ if it was to survive
  • BBC Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries spoke of need for reform










The BBC will be making a documentary series covering a century of its own scandals. The trio have been sanctioned by chief executive Tim Davie (above) as a key part of their centennial celebrations next year

The BBC will be making a major documentary series covering a century of its own scandals.

The trio, which will be presented by David Dimbleby, have been endorsed by CEO Tim Davie as a key part of the Company’s centennial celebrations next year.

An insider said Mr Davie felt the BBC had to “empty the swamp” if it was to survive.

Scandals likely to feature include Martin Bashir’s controversial interview with Princess Diana in 1995 and obscene phone calls broadcast on The Russell Brand Show on Radio 2 in 2008.

Comedian and guest Jonathan Ross left obscene messages on Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs’ answering machine, referring to actor’s granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Regulator Ofcom then fined the BBC £ 150,000 for the incident and Brand resigned.

An insider said Mr Davie felt the BBC should

An insider said Mr Davie believed the BBC had to “empty the swamp” if it was to survive. Scandals likely to feature include Martin Bashir’s controversial 1995 interview with Princess Diana (above)

Obscene phone calls broadcast on The Russell Brand Show on Radio 2 in 2008 are also likely to appear.  Comedian and guest Jonathan Ross (both pictured) left obscene messages on Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs' answering machine, referring to actor's granddaughter Georgina Baillie

Obscene phone calls broadcast on The Russell Brand Show on Radio 2 in 2008 are also likely to appear. Comedian and guest Jonathan Ross (both pictured) left obscene messages on Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs’ answering machine, referring to actor’s granddaughter Georgina Baillie

Georgina Baillie (pictured) was the subject of offensive remarks made by Russell Brand on her Radio 2 show. The regulator Ofcom then fined the BBC £ 150,000 for the incident and Brand resigned

Georgina Baillie (pictured) was the subject of offensive remarks made by Russell Brand on her Radio 2 show. The regulator Ofcom then fined the BBC £ 150,000 for the incident and Brand resigned

Other topics include the Society’s handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and the 2003 row that preceded the suicide of government arms inspector Dr. David Kelly.

A source said: “Tim Davie believes that acknowledging the mistakes of the past is the only way the BBC can secure its future.

David Dimbleby is considered the perfect man for the job.

Other topics include the Society's handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and the 2003 row that preceded the suicide of government arms inspector Dr. David Kelly.  (Above, Savile in the 1970s)

Other topics include the Society’s handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and the 2003 row that preceded the suicide of government arms inspector Dr. David Kelly. (Above, Savile in the 1970s)

Davie is particularly aware of the BBC’s need to be honest about its mistakes – and there have been many – so there is an element of self-flagellation to that.

“I think the arrival of Nadine Dorries as Secretary of Culture was also a factor in her decision.”

Ms Dorries, a BBC critic, spoke of the need for reform.

A spokesperson for the company said: “It will be a story of the BBC, exploring its role at major times of political and cultural change, its conflicts with governments over the years and its own public controversies.”

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