Letter: Dyke and the BBC

Sir: In your parliamentary Question and Answers column (11 May) you misreported the written answer given by the Culture Secretary, Chris Smith, over the director-generalship of the BBC.

His answer was this: "I have had no detailed discussions with Mr Greg Dyke about the appointment of the next Director-General of the BBC. He did, however, inform me on February 4 that he was considering applying for the post." However, even that is slightly misleading.

In February, I was invited to lunch by Mr Smith to discuss the film industry. The subject of the vacancy at the BBC came up and, in passing, Mr Smith asked me whether I was likely to be a candidate. I said I hadn't yet made up my mind.

That was it. Hardly "Dyke ... had made contact with him [the minister] over the job", as your story claimed.


Chairman and Chief Executive

Pearson Television

London W1