Thursday, 19 August 2010

Top Fifty BBC Freedom of Information Requests For Which Information Was Not Held But Which We Shall Try To Answer On Their Behalf: Part Two

Previously on BrokenTV: we’ve narrowed down fifty of the questions that the BBC’s Freedom Of Information department were unable to answer, and attempted to answer then. Tuesday’s inaugural bunch of posers included questions posed from people wanting to know the extent to which the BBC in secretly funded by militant left-wing public schoolboy vampires (or whatever it was). Today, we’ll be looking at some people who want impractical reams of information from the Beeb, for whatever reason. All right under a screen capture from Alexei Sayle’s Stuff that might have nothing to do with the article in question but will break up all the text quite nicely and make this blog update a little easier to read.



How much of the BBC output do the Trust members watch? Specify which programmes.  (ref RFI20081442, 12/17/08)

That “The BBC Trust”, eh? That meddling, secretive panel of cloaked figures, a secretive New World Order group who lurk in the shadows, deciding what really happens at the BBC. Well admittedly, they’re actually all identified on the BBC website, but shadowy underworld figures like that always tend to unwittingly leave one tiny clue as to their true identities. They always think they can get away with it, until they accidentally allow their name, photograph and full biography to be left on one of the UK’s most regularly visited websites.

Conspiracy theorists might like to know the BBC website even lists a “declaration of interests” for each member of the trust (“Ooh, Anthony Fry is a member of the Trust For Paintings In Hospitals! Bet he has dozens of nurses sacked every day just to pay for new ones”). In short, it’s a bit like how you can find out who the Pools Panel all are, if you can be bothered to check. All that doesn’t stop another person requesting to know how many members of the panel are Jewish, but that’s for a later update.

You’ve got to love this request though. “Specify which BBC programmes the BBC Trust members watch.” Space is tight here, but using the info we’ve gleaned from the BBC Trust Declaration Of Interests, we’re prepared to make the following educated guesses for the favourite BBC shows of several Trust members.

Sir Michael Lyons (also Governor, Royal Shakespeare Company): Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show.
Richard Ayre (also Chairman, The Dairy Partnership): Young Butcher Of The Year
Diane Coyle (also Advisory Committee Member, Spatial Economics Research Centre at the London School of Economics): Addicted to Boob Jobs
Alison Hastings (also Vice President, British Board of Film Classification): Bryony Makes a Zombie Movie
David Liddiment (also Associate, Old Vic Theatre Company): Help! My Dog's As Fat As Me
Jeremy Peat (also Member, Expert Group on Finance Supporting The Commission on Scottish Devolution): Pissed and Pregnant

Hope all that helps, “ref RFI20081442”!

List of "difficult" questions for which the answer given has been discussed and agreed in advance of the questions being asked. Answers also. (ref RFI20090064, 1/14/09)

For every TV and radio programme? Between which dates? On news and current affairs programming, or including chat shows and panel shows? If it helps, we can exclusively reveal that the entire Bee Gees interview on Clive Anderson All Talk in 1997 was scripted and rehearsed beforehand. And so was Jeremy Paxman’s exchange with George Galloway during Election Night 2005.

Copy of transcripts of all conversations that have taken place in Green rooms in the past 12 months. (ref RFI20090275, 2/6/09)

On the surface, this might seem like a stupid request. A request from someone so hugely idiotic, they shouldn’t really be allowed to own cutlery, because they clearly can’t be trusted to eat some mash without scooping at least one of their own eyeballs. However, it’s a little known fact that since Sachsgate, the BBC have employed courtroom stenographers to record every single word murmured in every single BBC green room. It’s not a cheap measure, by any means. In the end, it came down to keeping Last Of The Summer Wine going for another thirty-five years, or putting the stenographers in place, but thanks to “Ref RFI20090275”, it finally looks like the BBC made the right decision. Even though Zombie Last Of The Summer Wine would have been brilliant.

Sadly, almost all of the actual transcripts have been of guests quietly tutting at their favoured brand of bottled water not being present, politely enquiring what time they’ll be needed, or calling their agent to check that appearing on BBC Breakfast at 7.13am really is the best promotion they could come up with for their life’s work. But at least we DO now know that.

Copy of all letters, emails and transcripts of telephone calls from the Israeli Embassy to the DG's department from 24/12/08 to 31/1/09. (ref RFI20090323, 2/15/09)

image That’s about it. (Reader’s voice: “Hang on, the proposal to close 6Music only happened in 2010, the request was asking about a specific month in late 2008!”). Ah, shut up.


More soon!


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