Monday, 9 March 2009

The Trousers That Looked Like They Had Been Stolen, But Hadn’t

The BBC’s Freedom of Information website seems to have had a makeover. What better time to take a fresh look at what people have been asking? Here are a few questions plucked from the site, with links to the full versions of each reply. We’ve reworded some of the questions a bit, to try and save this update from being wholly dull. It hasn’t really worked out as well as we’d hoped.

Which department of BBC Radio had the most generously funded Christmas bash in 2007?

Full reply here.

In short though, it’s that well-known bunch of hellraisers at Radio 3, necking £45.40 of free booze and canapés per head. That’s nearly HALF of YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S licence fee. Unless she’s over 75, in which case she doesn’t need one. By comparison, the Five Live bunch were next on the list, with Alan Green and company partying it up to a level of £39.99 each. Radios Four, Two and One had to share their parties with digital cousins Seven, Six and 1Xtra respectively, quaffing their way through an average £39.80, £37.00 and £30.00 of Wkd blue. Here’s a table for you to enjoy.


How much money did BBC Scotland piss away on bottled water during 2006 and 2007, eh? ANSWER ME.

Full reply here.

But – SPOILER – it was about £22,945.40.

Ah, but how much money did all of the BBC fritter away on bottled water – probably stolen from weeping orphans, I shouldn’t wonder – over the last five years? Come on, what are you trying to hide?

Full reply here.

In summary, stop asking daft questions, and if you promise to stop asking about bottled water, it was about £312,908.52 per year.

How many things are branded with the BBC logo? Is it loads? How much does each BBC-branded disposable cup, umbrella and anorak cost? I have to know this, for reasons that must remain a secret between me and my cat.

Full reply here.

There are precisely 1,006 things branded with the BBC logo, not including the tattoo Mark Thompson ended up getting as the result of a Scott Mills prank that went horrendously wrong. There are no BBC branded paper cups, which shatters a little bit of the magical wonder we’d always imagined would be contained in each Television Centre coffee machine.

I demand you give me a list of everything stolen from the BBC in 2007. Yes, everything. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be hopping on the next bus to Shepherd’s Bush with an empty sack emblazoned with the word ‘swag’, honest.

Full reply here.

Lots of stuff nicked, in summary. 39 mobile phones, 73 computers, 24 pieces of camera equipment, three projectors, and the following top ten of reported theft items (note – people who nick stuff from others deserve to be kicked in the face until they learn the error of their nefarious ways, we’re not making light of theft.):

  • “Theft of good luck card from pedestal”
  • “Allegation of theft of paper & misuse of photocopier”
  • “Theft of beefburgers, salmon fillets etc.”
  • “Box set of Famous Five cassettes”
  • “Theft of coffee etc”
  • “Theft of ladder from Holby prop store”
  • “Theft of mug and cake”
  • “Coffee stolen on three occasions from unattended coffee shop”
  • “Theft of Thesaurus and calculator from desk”
  • “Theft of trousers (recovered, no crime)”

In short – if you work at the BBC, it’s probably best to nail everything down. And if anyone reading this knows the full story of The Trousers That Looked Like They Had Been Stolen, But Then Hadn’t Been, please get in touch.


4 .:

Stuart said...

You missed out the fascinating: Please could you give me a log of complaints of people using the canteen since March 2007'

Cue lots of stuff about undercooked sausages

Mark X said...

I was tempted to include that, but I wasn't sure if that was the same canteen based update I'd mentioned in the first BBC FOI update. It's so tempting to write in asking for a big cost analysis of BBC biro usage 1994-1997, but I've got too much respect for the BBC's level of openness in such matters. It'd just seem cruel and (especially) pointless.

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