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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Tory wants to chair 'dull' BBC
Lord Taylor of Warwick
Taylor: Says he would "stimulate viewers' minds"
Lord Taylor of Warwick has launched his bid to become BBC chairman with a scathing attack on a corporation he says is "dull" and "overrun with clone-like young ladies".

The Conservative peer criticised BBC television's "boring and bland" shows and said he will not get the job because he is black and not a Labour supporter.

The BBC is supposed to be a public service, but it is more about overpaid presenters holding it to ransom

Lord Taylor of Warwick
He also hit out at highly-paid presenters in a radical bid to win the job, which is the link between the BBC and the government and would put him in charge of monitoring performance and standards.

"The BBC is overrun with clone-like young ladies who drive me mad," the former presenter and producer told the Birmingham Sunday Mercury newspaper.

"Everywhere I go, I am faced with the image of Carol Smillie. She is in sports shops, on the bus - they put her on everything.

Current BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland
Sir Christopher Bland: Leaving for BT
"The BBC create these monsters and it is very short-sighted. These presenters do have a shelf-life."

He criticised gardening and cookery shows, decried repeats of comedies like Only Fools and Horses and Absolutely Fabulous and said more "real people" should be asked to front more "upbeat" shows.

"The BBC is supposed to be a public service, but it is more about overpaid presenters holding it to ransom," he said.

"Shows like Question Time and Newsnight are so dull. The presenters are lethargic and have no edge to them.

'Tremendous signal'

"I am all for bringing in fresh young talent to stimulate viewers' minds and give them what they want."

Having a black chairman would send a "tremendous signal" to Britain and the world, he said - but that only a white Labour supporter would be chosen.

Baroness Jay
Baroness Jay: Has also applied for the post
He acknowledged that efforts were being made to make the BBC more racially representative, but said more needed to be done.

"The BBC has a huge reputation but that reputation is fading. We must widen its appeal to fully reflect society.

"We have a challenge to appeal to all ethnic minorities but at the moment that is simply not the case."

He joins Labour peer Baroness Jay and David Dimbleby as those who have applied for the 77,950-a-year part-time job.

It will become vacant in September when Sir Christopher Bland leaves to become full-time chairman of BT.

Prime minister Tony Blair and culture secretary Tessa Jowell will choose his replacement, but the selection has been delayed to allow the new Conservative leader to give their opinion when they are elected.

Lord Taylor of Warwick
"The BBC creates these monsters"
See also:

31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Lady Jay applies for BBC post
30 Apr 01 | Talking Politics
Profile: Lord Taylor of Warwick
15 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Manager defends 'loved' Smillie
31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Baroness Jay's political progress
16 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Dimbleby joins BBC attacks
28 Apr 01 | UK Politics
'Cronyism' warning over BBC top job
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
BBC chairman defends dual role
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
BBC chairman to step down
25 Aug 00 | UK
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