Published on 8 Dec 2011

Jeremy Hunt supports BBC Orwell statue

For some time there’s been a campaign to erect a statue of George Orwell outside the BBC’s new Broadcasting House building.  Orwell worked at the old BBC Broadcasting House next door during the war – an experience which inspired aspects of his novel 1984, not least the notorious Room 101 where he  worked.

The campaign has raised enough money, and found a distinguished sculptor who’s ready to do the work.  But the BBC high command, I understand, is a little nervous.

Orwell may have been one of the greatest journalists of the 20th century – many would say THE greatest –  but he was also a socialist, and some BBC big-wigs fear that a statue to him outside their new prestige journalistic HQ might generate more accusations of left-wing bias.

But BBC bosses need not fear such charges from government circles.  Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt thinks the Orwell statue is a great idea.  “He’s a big hero of mine,” he tells me.

When I mentioned the BBC’s worries about being accused of bias, Hunt light-heartedly suggested that Orwell’s statue might be balanced with that of a distinguished journalist from the Right.

“How about Jeremy Clarkson,” he joked.

Or at least I think he was joking.

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5 reader comments

  1. IanVisits says:

    “some BBC big-wigs fear that a statue to him outside their new prestige journalistic HQ might generate more accusations of left-wing bias.”

    Just as the statue of Oliver Cromwell outside Westminster Hall generates suspicions that MPs want to ban Christmas?

  2. Orwell's clenched fist says:

    Hilarious, given that the BBC is UK ‘state’ television. Look at the phoney debates they have on Newsnight, the recent one on the summer riots being a good example. The spectrum of opinion they had was so narrow….And Question Time?..pathetic..subtle form of controlling public opinion. If Orwell was alive today, he’d shit on their doorstep! The BBC reflects the states impression of how the they want the country to percieve itself, which is ‘everything is fine, nothing to see here, la la la, aren’t the police splendid?’. Its news coverage seems to be for people who aren’t really interested or aren’t paying attention. Would love to hear Orwells opinion on the crap thats happening now. When do we get an IMF Technocrat?

  3. Joanne says:

    Well, since the BBC has now become the propaganda arm of the Tory led Coalition government, and has become heavily involved with ‘newspeak’ (particularly with regard to NHS and Pensions protests)then I would deem the erection of the Orwell statue outside the BBC building to be entirely apt…

  4. William Booth says:

    I would be in favour of a statue of George Orwell modelled as St George, having successfully slain Jeremy Clarkson (the Dragon). Surely this is the balanced approach.

  5. Saltaire Sam says:

    I welcome the idea of a statue to one of our greatest writers.

    I think David Cameron should unveil it, to reveal the worlds: ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’

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