BBC goes completely OTT on Prince Philip’s death

Friday evening os it’s into the kitchen to turn on Iggy Pop on BBC Radio Six Music and it’s….Gideon Coe playing a succession of dirges to mark Prince Philip’s death.

On Saturday evening Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Show is ditched. All the TV schedules on BBC1, BB2 and ITV were scrapped too in favour of pre-recorded tributes to the old boy who had died aged 99. What on earth is going on? Has the BBC completely lost its marbles?

Now you expect the state broadcaster to do something to mark such an event but an hour-long documentary would have been quite enough.This was the kind of blanket “be sad or else” you would have expected from the Soviet Union on the death of Stalin. What were they thinking? Heaven knows what they’ll do when the Queen (94) dies.

Audiences departed in droves and complaints flooded in. The BBC even launched an online poll to discover the obvious although it hasn’t told us the result yet (we probably know it already.)

Philip, although depicted in most of the papers and elsewhere as a martyr to the cause of “supporting” the Queen, lived a long and pretty privileged life. He died peacefully in his own bed, from old age seemingly, after a hospital stay. Sad doubtless but…He wasn’t even in line for the throne.

A massive misjudgement from the Beeb and other broadcasters. Newly-anointed DG Tim Davie’s first big challenge and he fluffed it.

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.