Despite endless jokes at its expense, BBC staff keep going back to the famous Television Centre canteen. Now they’ve got a similar love/hate relationship with a spoof Twitter account – which portrays an in-house eatery as a rancid dive with idiots for customers.
The Killing Station (@KillingStation) – a play on a takeaway restaurant’s real name, The Filling Station – regularly serves up rotten meat including horse, aims to short-change its customers whenever possible, employs illegal workers and has hygiene standards low enough to deserve a Panorama investigation.
The “specials” are, in particular, to be avoided: “Mmmm. Fish or chicken? I honestly can’t tell,” the account recently tweeted. “So rotten. It’s got special written all over it.
“Snow has its uses,” read another post. “Making tangy lemon sorbet. Just don’t ask too many questions about the lemon bit.”
Judging by the joke feed’s regular flashes of insider knowledge, it’s likely that the unknown author is a BBC staffer – which makes the highly barbed taunting of prominent Beeb broadcasters even more piquant.
Typical tweets include: “Uh-oh! [Nicholas] Witchell’s in the building. He’ll be in here pinching bums”; “At first it was funny but if that [Matthew] Amroliwala asks me for a leg up once more just so he can reach his precious Muller Rice…I’ll scream”; and “The little botty-burp [Stephanie Flanders] just let out on the Six. That was my spicy mince. Sorry Steph.”
Economics editor Flanders is one of many BBC staff to be given a specific comic persona: in her case, a kleptomaniac. “Bit awkward with @BBCStephanie last night,” The Killing Station reported on 25 January. “She’s started nicking stuff again. Only a Kit Kat this time, but it breaks my heart.”
BBC business editor Robert “Bobby” Peston, meanwhile, is addicted to boiled eggs, while veteran world affairs editor John Simpson is a hard-drinking, maverick wheeler-dealer: “Simpson has come back from Seoul with a bagful of pickled monkey b*****ks. Only asked for some aftershave. The man’s crazy but I love him.”
Radio 5 Live sports reporter Eleanor Oldroyd and newsreaders Rachael Hodges, Kate Silverton and Jane Hill are among the many high-profile BBC names who have interacted with the spoof account, despite it being astonishingly rude to them.
Among other followers are Flanders, Peston, Evan Davis, Radio 4 announcer Corrie Corfield and 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden.
Some of The Killing Station’s greatest hits include…