The BBC we love has been killed by trimmed narcissists like Gary Lineker

IF you don’t want to know the score, look away now.

It takes the £159 royalty from 8,176 viewers to pay Gary Lineker’s £1.3m annual salary at the BBC.

Gary Lineker's annual salary at the BBC is 1.3 million


Gary Lineker’s annual salary at the BBC is 1.3 millionPhoto credit: Getty
Some BBC fee-payers will feel somewhere between annoyance and anger that Gary got off completely


Some BBC fee-payers will feel somewhere between annoyance and anger that Gary got off completelyPhoto credit: LNP

Many of those royalty payers would have been happy to see Lineker back on TV talking about football this weekend.

There will never be a better Match Of The Day presenter.

But some of them will feel something between annoyance and anger that Gary got away with comparing the most racially diverse government in British history – including a Home Secretary whose children are direct descendants of Holocaust victims – to Nazi Germany.

And all of these 8,176 license fee payers have the right to feel superior.

Because of course we no longer have our own state broadcaster, but we still have to pay.

You cannot unsubscribe. Fourteen years after Claudia Lawrence disappeared en route to work at York University, the BBC was reportedly still pursuing her for paying royalties, including threats of court action and a £1,000 fine.

Claudia’s mother, Joan, said the harassment caused her “unutterable grief.”

We have become accustomed to a left bias at the BBC.

But the triumph of someone speaking like Rick from The Young Ones suggests any pretense of impartiality is now gone forever.

And without that sacred impartiality, the BBC will lose its soul.

And the £4 billion a year it gets from our royalties.

Lineker has triumphed over his timid bosses, but it’s a hollow victory.

Because only the fake market created by the royalty allows him to pay him £1.3million a year to put on a highlight show.

Yes, Lineker could jump to ITV and get even more than the BBC.

But certainly not when the magic money tree of broadcasting fees is gone.

Because then everyone in TV land will find they live in a tougher, poorer world where they’re all fighting for ad revenue, subscriptions, and viewers.

The royalty currently enriching the BBC’s smug superstars is creating a false market.

When that £4 billion a year disappears into the mists of history, Broadcasting House’s fat cats will no longer be a protected species.

You’ll be in the same leaky boat as blacksmiths, milkmen and print journalists – making ends meet in a contract industry.

Ration bananas

For some, it will be a triumph to see the self-righteous, smug leftists scaled down to size.

But the younger generation – anyone born in this century – won’t even look up from their phone because they have no particular affection for the BBC and think television is something that used to be done, like rationing bananas.

But for those of us who grew up watching the BBC, it will be a day of sadness when it’s no longer special enough to warrant a license fee.

Many of us still have a deep and abiding love for the BBC.

I saw the first episode of David Attenborough’s Wild Isles and it was impossible to imagine that it would appear anywhere else.

Amazon? Netflix? Disney Plus? I really don’t think so.

Sir David’s documentary about these islands was the BBC at its finest.

But this BBC — the BBC we grew up with, the BBC we love — was killed by preening narcissists. And something priceless has been lost.

But then Attenborough is from the old BBC.

And Sir David never called anyone a Nazi because they were Tory.

Sir David Attenborough's latest documentary was the BBC at its finest


Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary was the BBC at its finestCredit: PA

The new style Playboy takes us all for a ride

PLAYBOY Magazine has always struggled to find its place in a world that includes both the internet and gender equality.

Its print edition disappeared years ago, but now Playboy is back with a subscription service that places content behind a paywall.

Playboy is back with a subscription service that places content behind a paywall


Playboy is back with a subscription service that places content behind a paywallPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

We are told that instead of Playboy rabbits, there will be Playboy “creators” – a new, empowered, sophisticated species.

The first digital issue features Amanda Cerny in a metallic swimsuit, floppy ears and sitting astride what appears to be a giant carrot. Bunny – geddit?

It’s not quite the brave new world that the brand’s propaganda promises.

I’ll believe the playboy is part of the modern world when he can finally bear to part with the floppy ears.

Harry Schock for the USA

PRINCE Harry’s teenage prank of dressing up as a Nazi for a costume party will be re-enacted in the next series of The Crown.

Last December, Harry and Meghan accepted a Ripple Of Hope award for their anti-racism stance.

The vast majority of Brits who knew Harry long before he healed the world will already know that the peabrain prince once disguised himself as a Nazi for a funny joke.

But it will be an eye opener for Harry’s new fans in America.

You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh.

Lucy is a true genius

CHANNEL 4’s “The Piano” was incredibly moving.

Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, with classical pianist Lang Lang and pop star Mika as judges, it was the best reality TV show in years.

13-year-old Lucy was a revelation on Channel 4's The Piano


13-year-old Lucy was a revelation on Channel 4’s The PianoCredit: PA

It sought out the best amateur pianist in the country by inviting players to strum the ivory at some train stations.

All four finalists had their personal struggles. But what Lucy, the eventual winner, had to overcome is beyond imagination.

The 13-year-old was born with cancerous tumors behind her eyes.

She is blind, autistic and largely nonverbal.

Lang Lang called her a genius. As Lucy Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 played, it didn’t feel like an exaggeration.

The piano was uplifting, heartbreaking and inspiring.

HUMZA YOUSAF is favorite in SNP leadership contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon.

But Mr Yousaf chuckled to a group of Ukrainian refugees: “Where are all the men?”

Uh, aren’t they at war? What a slip, Humza.

Even Joe Biden would blush.

Roger must be a sir

THE Queen has knighted many rock stars – Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Rod Stewart – and bestowed Knights of Honor on Irish citizens Bono and Bob Geldof.

The new king has continued the tradition by knighting Brian May.

The Who legend Roger Daltrey deserves the accolade


The Who legend Roger Daltrey deserves the accoladePhoto credit: Getty

But, as always when a rock star is knighted, my thoughts turned to The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

The Who’s up there with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Daltrey helped launch the Teenage Cancer Trust’s annual concert series and has raised more than £20million over the past 20 years.

Some rock stars don’t dig prizes. David Bowie refused a knighthood. Keith Richards was scathing about Jagger accepting one.

But Daltrey has no such objections — he accepted a CBE in 2005 for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities. Where’s his knighthood?

Mick still has it

MICK JAGGER caused a stir when he showed up at the Fulham v Arsenal game wearing a baseball cap with the acronym DILF.

That is, dad, I would like to. . . Stroke. Or so.

Rock legend Mick Jagger will never lose his cheeky side


Rock legend Mick Jagger will never lose his cheeky sidePhoto credit: Rex

Technically, Mick is eligible for a GGDILF hat because he’s a great-grandfather of three, grandfather of five, and father of eight children ranging in age from six to 50.

His DILF hat got tongues talking about how many lovers he had — 4,000, one of his biographers suggested, though I don’t know who counts. I bet Mick never did.

Jagger celebrates his 80th birthday in July. This DILF hat proves he’s still got it.

Sense of humor I mean.

Emma in the real world

EMMA RADUCANU says she’s quitting social media due to an overdose of bitchy negativity.

“After the Australian Open, I deleted WhatsApp and Instagram from my phone,” says Emma.

Many more young people will see the benefits of not using social media like Emma Raducanu


Many more young people will see the benefits of not using social media like Emma RaducanuPhoto credit: Getty

“And after that, I live under my own little rock.”

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This isn’t your own little rock, Emma. This is real life.

I suspect that in the years to come, more of Emma’s generation, 20, will discover that swimming in the social media drains isn’t actually a requirement. The BBC we love has been killed by trimmed narcissists like Gary Lineker


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