UK: Norton Comes Out Fighting for the BBC

old bbc eurovision anniversaryUK – One of the first things the newly elected UK government has done, is demand cuts to the national broadcaster, the BBC. Graham Norton, the UK’s Eurovision presenter (and extremely highly paid BBC star) has joined in the debate, defending the BBC. 

Norton, who allegedly earns £1.5m per year, speaking to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper said,

“It’s hard for me, because I should be able to be very vocal in my defence of the BBC, and kind of go, ‘Let’s treasure this thing. Let’s not have it dismantled’. But of course, everyone goes, ‘Well you would say that, wouldn’t you?’ But having spent time in other countries, I see that the BBC is amazing. That it is incredible. It’s just that my voice has no weight in that debate. It’s a really perilous time for the BBC. The trouble is that every government hates the BBC. The BBC will criticise the government, and so there is that slight, ‘Well, if you’re not with us, you must be against it’. The BBC is one of those things people will not understand until it’s gone. And then they’ll be going, ‘Oh, telly’s a bit shit. This is a weird period drama – there’s only two people in it and no cars’.”

Graham Norton

The BBC is an organisation not known for its track record for being open about its finances. It’s journalistic and artistic works are exempt from Freedom of Information requests… something it tries to use for just about everything to the frustration of requesters!

As a publicly funded body it seems only right people should see how this great organisation spends their money, as there may well be areas it can make savings. When you compare what you get for your £ though, compared with paid subscriptions such as Sky, it’s incredible value. As Norton says

“Just put £24 into everyone’s bank account, and switch the BBC off for two months, and people would shit themselves.”

Norton has signed a letter to the UK Prime Minister asking the Government to protect the BBC from cuts.

Could the cuts at the BBC affect the UK being one of the Big 5 in future? They could certainly limit the opportunities for the UK to ever send any more established acts or run expensive national finals. Services such as the BBC Radio 2 pop up service could also be affected. Eurovision still pulls in a lot of viewers in the UK s hopefully the BBC will continue to support the contest.

Source: Telegraph

8 comments on “UK: Norton Comes Out Fighting for the BBC

  1. ITV is 100 times better.
    Eurovision and The Apprentice is the only good things the BBC has.

    Also politically speaking it’s very left wing, hence why it’s mainly left wingers who defend it.

    Many in the UK are growing angry at being forced to pay 145.50 a year to the BBC just for the privilege of watching tv on other channels. In the past the Tv License was almost universal, but with the rise of the internet, there’s now expected to be about 3 million households who do not want to pay, and the number has risen rapidly over the past 5 years.

    The death of the BBC can’t come soon enough, let ITV take over!

    • Sorry but I totally disagree. The BBC walks all over ITV. I hardly ever watch ITV apart from the odd programme or rare (and I mean rare) gem. The BBC has always been at the forefront when it comes to drama, comedy and family entertainment as well as documentaries and the arts and it is a world leader in covering major events especially sport such as the Olympics, World Cup and Wimbledon something ITV can only dream of. The BBC’s viewing figures nearly always outstrips those of ITV especially at Christmas or when it goes head to head. Don’t even get me started on it’s appalling, ubiquitous presenters (Stephen Mulhern with his OTT sickening personality and face I’d love to slap, Philip ‘I’m a serious journalist’ Schofield and Vernon Kay – barf!) they really are nauseating and these are just a few of those who seem to be churned out with acute regularity on the most dismal of shows The list against ITV goes on and on. It has been and always will be a poor imitation imo.

      • Appaling presenters??? Ant and Dec have won the National Television Award for presenting 13 years in a row, so the public clearly don’t agree.

        As for Stephen Mulhern, he’s fun and super cute, and I think Vernon Kay is probably the sexiest presenter on TV, turns out he’s a former model makes sense.

        ITV regularly wins the Satuday night ratings war and Channel 4 is always coming up with new and innovative stuff. Heck even Channel 5 has Big Brother now.

        And as for Sport, BBC has already announced as the number of people no longer wishing to fund the BBC increases they are losing millions and might no longer afford sport. I believe its the 2020 Olympics that will be the last on the BBC, Eurosport will hold the rights after this.

    • I can’t agree with this, Max. Apart from the occasional quiz show, I can’t think when I would ever watch ITV. (Channel 4 is pretty good, mind.)

      It’s not just BBC1; the wonderful arts documentaries and archive music footage shown on BBC4, the current affairs programmes and comedy on Radio 4, all the local radio stations… I think I would shit myself if I had to go a month without 6 Music!

      Yes, it might lean slightly to the left, but that’s probably only to be expected from an organisation of creative and artistic people, although it doesn’t exactly curry favour with Labour governments either, and politicians from across the spectrum continuously accuse the BBC of being biased against them! Unlike other parts of the media, the BBC is fiercely independent and that’s exactly why governments try to dismantle it.

      If we lose the BBC, we’ll be left with the likes of Rupert Murdoch controlling our news, the same media baron who’s had countless closed-doors meetings with David Cameron. Is that what you want?

      • Genuinely you are the first person I have ever met who watches BBC4, I don’t mean that as an insult just an observation I’ve never met anyone who does.

        And while I don’t read Murdoch’s papers theres no getting away from the fact that Sky has quicker more up to date coverage. During the recent election I was switching between the 2, it could sometimes be up to half an hour space between Sky declairing a result and the BBC. (Also Murdoch does not hold a majority in Sky)

    • “politically speaking it’s very left wing”

      Show me the recent academic research to back up this statement. This is spouted by Tories and UKIP voters up and down the country, based on no actual recent verified evidence, and reiterated mantra fashion by all the right wing press to make the sheep believe it as it suits their agenda. Thatcher started this rhetoric in the 80s and the Conservatives have used it successfully since.

      We have a government in the UK that has abused, threatened and politicised our supposedly neutral state broadcaster. Everyone, no matter what their personal politics, should be bloody angry and scared about that.

      The latest Cardiff Uni, funded yes partly by BBC (but stats can be verified), found the following:



      The BBC needs constant review as does any public authority or business, and savings can be made, but it is an absolutely brilliant service overall, is really fantastic value for money and should be cherished and allowed to be politically neutral imo.

      How it runs Eurovision however, is, of course, a different matter altogether!

      • Former director generals and presenters have admitted there is a left wing bias, though many attempt to paint it as cultural bias instead.

        Turn on any comedy programme, and the 2 main lines of political commentary are UKIP are racist (which to be fair is true) and Conservatives are rich toffs screwing the poor. You get the occasional “Lib dems are irrelevant” but comedians rarely ever mock Labour. There is no generic brush Labour is painted with like Posh Tories, Racist UKIP, Irrelevant Liberals etc

        Being bisexual and 50% Non British European you can probably guess I am very anti UKIP they are racist and homophobic, but even me someone who hates them was left feeling sorry for Nigel Farage in that debate with the hugely left wing audience. Afterwards the BBC published its breakdown of the audience and it turns out 2/3 were Left wing, despite in the election the country was majority right wing, (adding all votes of tories Ukip, and smaller parties like English Democrats)

        The only things I watch on the BBC are Eurovision which they screw up each year and I can watch for free online (legally too thank you EBU) and The Apprentice, where the main guy (Alan Sugar) just so happens to be an open Labour supporter, but still I watch it, but could live without it.

        I think the BBC if it is to exist should focus on Balanced and Fair Public Service Broadcasting and leave the entertaining to the superior ITV and Channel 4, which is a position I’ve long held, and now the gov have come round to my way of thinking.

        Also ITV would be much better for Eurovision, they can book huge stars with higher budgets, they do it every day/week on BGT and X Factor, and as we can see from JESC, when the BBC was floundering 2003-2005, ITV was scoring decent results (2 Top 3 finishes back to back, beat that Azerbaijan!!!)

        • You obviously are a lover of all things ITV and good for you. I just find it completely tacky and mind-numbingly dull (but remember I did say there are some rare gems to be found, which I do watch but I still stand by my views that BBC is better). We shall just have to have difference of opinion on this one. Happy viewing. ;)

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