BBC man explains why he spoke out

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The Independent Online
A BBC newsreader who ended his last broadcast by describing the corporation's managers as "pygmies in grey suits wearing blindfolds" said yesterday that he had been planning his outburst for several days.

Alan Towers, who made his comments at the end of Saturday's Midlands Today bulletin, said he decided to use the programme to say something that people working at the BBC did not have the opportunity to voice.

At the end of the bulletin, he said: "After 25 years I am leaving the BBC. When I joined it was led by giants. Now it's led by pygmies in grey suits wearing blindfolds. How sad."

Speaking from his home in Mappleborough Green, near Studley, Warwickshire, yesterday, Mr Towers, 58, said: "I was saying what a lot of colleagues talk to me about."

Asked about the wording of his unscripted comments, Mr Towers, who has been semi-retired for a year, said he was lamenting the loss of a strong management team at the BBC "eight or 10 years ago and beyond" in what was scheduled to be his final show.

The BBC's regional television operation was now a "joyless organisation" with a "paranoic desire" to cut costs, producing current affairs programmes which came "second best to the Open University", he said.

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