A recent interview with Noel Edmonds that I picked up on got huge coverage because of his far-out claims that there is no such thing as death, humans are just “containers of energy” and that something called “electrosmog” is polluting our atmosphere…
But what haven’t really been discussed are his opinions on the BBC, which far more people can relate to and will have a view on.
Last year, Edmonds said he had put together a consortium to buy the BBC, but the comment was laughed off and not taken seriously.
But he is serious when he discusses the future of the Corporation which – unlike humans, apparently – is something he believes will die if we let it.
And as the man responsible for some of the BBC’s biggest shows ever – Noel’s House Party, Telly Addicts and Top of the Pops – his thoughts on TV channels and radio stations may well be worth listening to.
“I would hate to see the UK lose the BBC but it has to be pared down and fit for people,” Edmonds told Celebrity Radio. “It is trying to be all things to all people in an age when Apple could crush it tomorrow.
“You have to accept consumer is king. You have to accept people can get local news from other sources. Gone are the days when they lead the way on impartial news.
“The whole news side has to be cut down.
“You have to concentrate on a couple of good TV channels and focus on original programming. People want good content, they don’t want repeats or padding things out.”
Noel also has strong opinions on radio – I don’t agree with much of it myself, but there are lots of people out there who will.
“You probably need two very good radio channels,” he says. “Radio 3? Well forget it. It is too elitist and too irrelevant. Classic FM do a good job and now I have launched Positively Happy radio, we play excellent classical music. [Radio 3] has got to go.
“The BBC has to go back and focus on what it did best, which is encouraging new talent and producing original content on a small number of channels and an internet presence.
“It is all going to fall apart if it just staggers on the way it is.”
How Director General Tony Hall must wish he could ring up Noel’s Banker on Deal Or No Deal for a big money offer that would make ends meet for his television and radio budgets.
I would hate to see the BBC reduced to two TV channels and two radio stations, but the current set up seems unlikely to last much longer. Perhaps some of Noel’s ideas aren’t so far fetched after all…
Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror