BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 3 February, 2003, 17:36 GMT
BBC rejects Liddle comments
Rod Liddle
Liddle says he was given orders from above to sack Forsyth
The BBC has denied comments by the former editor of BBC Radio 4's Today that contributor Frederick Forsyth was sacked because of his political stance.

Rod Liddle said on Sunday BBC executives had felt the author was "too right-wing" to continue broadcasting his fortnightly essays on Today.

Liddle, who resigned from the programme in September in a row over impartiality, says fellow contributor Will Self was removed alongside Forsyth "for reasons of symmetry and expediency".

But a BBC spokeswoman insisted that the slot had been removed solely for editorial reasons.

Frederick Forsyth
Some of Forsyth's broadcasts were seen to mock the government
"Rod Liddle's memory is playing tricks on him," she said.

"Liddle was asked to refresh the list of contributors, that didn't prove possible and so the format was dropped."

She denied there had been an issue about Forsyth's politics and said the decision had rested with head of radio news Stephen Mitchell.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Liddle said BBC executives ordered him to take Forsyth's fortnightly broadcasts off the air because they objected to his political stance.

He said corporation managers had objected for months to Forsyth's "politics - rather than his writing style".

Will Self
Self was sacked "for reasons of symmetry", says Liddle
Forsyth's essays were alternated with those of left-wing author Will Self. Both were taken off the air in May.

Some of Forsyth's commentaries were perceived to mock and attack the government and the European Union.

"Eventually I was told, outright, to get rid of them both," Liddle wrote.

"And I cannot rid myself of the suspicion that the motive for sacking Freddy was because of his allegedly uncouth right-wing politics - and Will got axed alongside for reasons of symmetry and expediency."

Forsyth said he had been told at the time of his sacking that the decision "came from above".

He said the move had been made "from Downing Street via (BBC director general) Greg Dyke because I got up the nose of the Blairites".

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Entertainment
11 Jul 01 | Politics
16 Sep 01 | Entertainment
09 Sep 02 | Entertainment
11 Sep 01 | Entertainment
01 Oct 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes