As if we haven’t enough with the far right in this country looking to run down the BBC at any opportunity, the letter from Malcolm Naylor (The Yorkshire Post, July 3) is more unfairly critical than most.
Apparently the BBC is “London-centred” for giving lengthy reports on England football games, but affording only one sentence on Mark Cavendish winning one stage of the Tour De France.
Aside from the fact that Cavendish is Manx, not British, I find it difficult to imagine that wider coverage of this admittedly notable achievement would actually promote increased use of bicycles for transport.
What would help achieve that objective would be investment in developing and expanding networks of discrete cycle tracks and routes using disused railway lines – a prospect not helped by the current actions of the Highways Agency in infilling scores of railway bridges and tunnels (like that at Queensbury) – a policy which, by the way, received substantial air time on Jeremy Vine’s midday BBC radio programme on Monday, July 5.
In the meantime, far from being “Establishment” I read that nearly 20 million people watched England’s win over Ukraine on Saturday on the BBC.
Not only that, but according to the Daily Mail, whilst England have a 70 per cent win ratio when their matches are screened by BBC, this drops to 17 per cent when screened by ITV – if that isn’t public service broadcasting, I don’t know what is!?
So, let’s enjoy England’s current run of success to the maximum not forgetting that, whilst only three of England’s starting team against Ukraine play for London clubs, there were no less than four Yorkshire-born players in that team, with another coming on as a substitute and that Gareth Southgate had an eight-year association with Middlesbrough as player and manager.
We have a lot to be proud of.
As regards the BBC, I suspect Mr Naylor may not be aware that BBC Sport is headquartered in, and broadcasted from, Manchester, not London and, of course, is widely accepted as the outstanding public service broadcaster in the world. Indeed, it is one of three features of this country, along with the NHS and the independence of our judiciary, which makes us the envy of much of the rest of the world.
It couldn’t be that the present Government and its supporters would want to diminish the reach of these in any way could it?