Right of Reply: Paul Pascoe

The chief executive of the Unique Group, Noel Edmonds's company, responds to Deborah Orr's article about Mr Edmonds leaving the BBC
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The Independent Culture
IT IS a very great shame that Deborah Orr did not speak to me before writing her piece attacking the BBC (disguised as an attack on Noel). While she is entitled to her opinion, many of the facts on which that opinion purports to be based are totally wide of the mark.

Noel has not resigned; After 30 years' loyal service, he has given his bosses as much notice as possible of his intention not to continue when his contract expires.

It is not possible that "no one at the BBC liked" the new Saturday show which is currently in development, as the idea is not due to be formally presented for another six weeks.

The fact that Noel is a great admirer of Ronan Keating - and many of the other new breed of presenters - cannot disguise the fact that programmes hosted by them are not delivering the expected audiences. This is not a criticism of Ronan or the BBC - simply a well-known fact.

Trying to blame Swap Shop as the beginning of the end for the BBC is farcical. Not only did Swap Shop win every major award and inspire presenters such as Phillip Schofield and Chris Evans, but the team behind that success continued to deliver successful Saturday-morning television for the next 20 years.

Everyone (apart from Ms Orr) appears to understand that Alan Yentob's description of House Party as "the most important show on the BBC" was in the context of its innovation and ambition. No one who had any understanding of Alan's programming background could possibly assume anything else. I could go on.

The idea behind The World of the Secret Camera, which Ms Orr thinks is so poor, was a world first and it is already being sold to Holland, Belgium, Canada and America.

Finally, it is perhaps relevant that of all the newspaper reporters writing about Noel over the last few days, the only interested journalist not to have contacted him is Ms Orr. No doubt this was because the truth would have impacted on her story.