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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