Bunhill: Kaufman sounding off

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The Independent Online
MY OLD chum Gerald Kaufman was sounding off last week about the hideous threat facing the BBC. Kaufman, now on the back benches after a spell as Labour's foriegn affairs spokesman, told the Royal Television Society dinner that only a whizzkid entrepreneur can save Auntie from oblivion.

Marmaduke Hussey, the current chairman and now 70, should be replaced by a 'young entrepreneurial businessman' when he retires, he said.

Unfortunately, no one at the dinner - and they included Stewart Purvis of ITN, Leslie Hill of Central and Richard Dunn of Thames TV - got round to asking Kaufman who he had in mind. Too busy tucking into their salmon and chocolate pud, I suppose.

Bunhill, never too incapacitated to lift the phone, got through to Kaufman to ask. Which young entrepreneur was he thinking of? Branson, perhaps? Virgin Broadcasting Corporation (VBC) has rather a nice ring to it. Or what about Anita Roddick for a PC BBC?

Kaufman, the old spoilsport, refused to be drawn 'I'm not going to blight anyone's chances by suggesting them,' he tells me sniffily.

(Photograph omitted)