Monitor: Blue Peter presenter's sacking
Opinion about the dismissal of children's television personality Richard Bacon for taking cocaine
Saturday 24 October 1998
ALTHOUGH BACON'S fall from grace doesn't directly reflect on the show, it inevitably casts a shadow over the programme's clean-cut image. More than that, however, the now ex-presenter's cocaine-snorting escapade is another example of Britain's moral decline. If even presenters of children's TV programmes can't behave themselves, parents are bound to muse, what does this say about the society in which their youngsters are growing up?
AFTER BLUE Peter presenter Richard Bacon was sacked for taking cocaine, the BBC's head of children's programmes went on the programme. She didn't have to emote like a vengeful tragedy queen. Richard isn't public enemy number one. He's been stupid, he's apologised and he's been sacked. Hopefully he's learnt his lesson. His sensible mother put it into perspective when she said: "This has been devastating news, but we love him and we'll support him." (Lynda Lee Potter)
RICHARD BACON has destroyed everything for the sake of a stupid, self- indulgent night out. At least let us give credit to him for owning up and not trying to worm his way out of what he did. That is another good lesson to his young fans. If some of them learn from his sad experience what drugs can do, then maybe Richard will feel this has not been all bad.
The Daily Telegraph
JACK CUNNINGHAM has just said that bosses shouldn't be brutal if employees stray from the straight and narrow. Instead of the head of children's programmes sombrely intoning, the disgraced presenter could have appeared to explain the error of his ways. Bacon could have given a thoughtful explanation of how he reached the murky depths of drug dependency. In return he would be allowed to stay with the programme. That way the nation's children would know that even smiley heroes sometimes trip up. (Alice Thompson)
BACON'S DISGRACE is not just that he took cocaine. It is that he has spoiled the image of Britain's most-loved children's TV show. Since the very first days presenters have had to be squeaky clean. For one of them to admit that he snorted cocaine during a vodka binge is like finding an archbishop stoned in a drugs den or a maiden aunt running a sex establishment. Bacon has ruined his career and let himself and his young fans down. He had to go.
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