Thursday, October 18, 2007

Negotiation and the BBC

The argument for Jonathan Ross's £18 million is "you've got to pay the best for top talent".
It's not as simple as that. If Jonathan Ross had really wanted to go to ITV he would have gone. But, like anyone with any self-respect wishing to do a decent job in decent circumstances and not have it all chopped up with ads, he didn't. Natasha Kaplinsky has just gone to Five for a million. Best of luck. She took the money and the risk is she may not be heard of again.Personally, I don't care whether any of these people go or not. Nor do the British public. There's an endless supply of TV talent. The BBC holds all the cards in these negotiations because, even in reduced circumstances, it's got the only train set worth having. If you want to play with it, if you want to have a nice radio show and get rowed into the heart warming Christmas special and be on the cover of the Radio Times, this is the only place to be.
Broadcasting is not a level playing field in this country. That has its disadvantages. The fact that you get to call the bluff of a few over-confident agents is one of its glorious upsides.
Does anybody remember a bloke called Desmond Lynam? Great broadcaster. Iredeemably tarnished by ITV. Last seen selling Setanta in the back of a burger van.


  1. Anonymous10:27 am

    Spot on. Network Centre (home of ITV) is like Lourdes in reverse - take the bitter water and watch your profile decline. Lynam is by no means the only victim. Eric and Ernie, Parkinson and the mighty Michael Rodd were but faint echoes of their White City heyday.

  2. Whenver five take anyone on suddenly they're yesterday's news: Carol Smilie, Colin and Justin, Richard Bacon, etc.

    And let's not even think about going to Sky or any of the digital channels. A certain death.

    It's the same for programmes. Who talks about Lost or Prison Break now they're on Sky? They managed to kill any zietgeist about any show once it finds a home there. Remember Beverly Hills 90210? Thought not.

  3. Heah, heah! I find Presenter-Watching a most entertaining sport; you watch them rise, then reach a point when they're clearly only in it for the money, then watch them disappear...

  4. Anonymous6:46 pm

    You do wonder if BBC bosses consider they are getting value for money with Ross? His chat show, which I'd guess the BBC see as the major element in his contract, is so poor this season and seems to be becoming more and more about Ross's ego and less about the guests. Meanwhile the guests seem to be on easy money. Mate of Jonathan's? Your seat in the Green Room awaits.

  5. Don't get me started on that one, Carl. Ricky Gervais has had so much exposure through Ross's shows on TV and radio that it's unfair to other would-be guests who have to wait their turn for another year or two.

  6. Anonymous8:15 pm

    'There's an endless supply of TV talent', and yet Fearne Cotton still gets employed.