For last week, I was dropped unceremoniously from Tomorrow's World for appearing in ... a soap powder commercial.
Over the past few days I have been known to mention the words "double- standards and gross hypocrisy". I shall tell you why these words spring to mind and perhaps you can, at last, clearly and concisely, explainTelevision Centre logic to me.
A large number of BBC personalities (unlike myself, some of them are exclusively BBC) present TV commercials. Here's a summary. Jeff Banks, the presenter of The Clothes Show - soap powder. Danny Baker, presenter of various BBC shows - soap powder. Gary Rhodes, BBC chef - commercials for Tate & Lyle sugar. Keith Floyd, BBC chef - commercials for a host of cookery products and for the Eire tourist board. I could go on for pages but that would be a bore.
So, dear BBC, explain why my appearance would have cast doubt on the integrity of any item about soap powder - if Tomorrow's World had wanted to do such a thing. I mean, is Gary Rhodes banned from using sugar in his recipes? I think not.
Now, you have said words to the effect that "Much as we respect Carol, her continued appearance in these commercials could damage the reputation of the programme." And I have said, wearily, I have been appearing in TV commercials for four years and specifically for soap powder for two years. If it is so damaging then why did you ask me to do the job in the first place?
And why, if these commercials have been running continuously since last July, have the ratings for Tomorrow's World risen significantly and the relaunch of the show been a huge success?
Here's another example of your logic: the previous commercials can continue running - no problem with that - but a new one means the sack. And here's the real-world response: what's the difference?
Suffice it to say that I have received no end of support with comments on your action ranging from pathetic, ludicrous, petty, crazy to hypocritical.
I suppose my error was to stand up for myself in an environment where the rule by fear is now almost tangible. Such is the spirit of freedom of speech the BBC continually fights for that I am now legally gagged (rather hypocritically) from giving my side of the past few months, but I would like to point out that I am not in breach of any contract.
However, I bear no grudges. I take no pleasure from a recent report detailing the disappearance of John Birt's pounds 200 toilet seat from his private office as he sat in a meeting with Stella Rimington and Michael Howard or from the message left on a conspicuous piece of paper - BIRT, YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER. It would only be fair for the massive resources of Crimewatch to expose the culprit in order to salvage the honour of the Director-General. Hee hee.Reuse content