Birt condemns BBC's Hugh Grant coverage
Saturday 15 July 1995
Mr Birt will be speaking on Biteback, BBC Television's accountability programme, in which he discusses the corporation's responsibilities for standards of taste, decency and news reporting.
Answering questions about the extensive BBC coverage of Grant's arrest in Los Angeles a fortnight ago for "lewd" conduct with a prostitute, and of the impact on his relationship with Hurley, Mr Birt tells the programme: "I don't think it was right. I think we reported that particular matter in a way that we should not have done."
He adds: "I was unhappy that we were taking pictures of them in their garden. I was unhappy that we revealed where they lived. I was unhappy that we gave the amount of prominence to the story that we did, and so were many of my colleagues in News and Current Affairs. But these things happen in organisations, and when we stray outside our own guidelines, we try to learn the lessons."
The BBC was not the only news organisation that went into overdrive on a story that many might traditionally associate with the tabloid press - every broadsheet daily devoted space to the story.
Mr Birt defends the commissioning moratorium called in network television this year while mangement grappled with cashflow problems. "The BBC has set world standards in its programmes. It hasn't set world standards in the way it's been managed ... but we've made great strides over the last few years.
"The moratorium was a sign of the success of our finance systems."
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...