WHERE WAS PAXMAN?
Peter Fincham, the controller of BBC1, looked pretty shifty on Newsnight tonight, as he tried to explain the Queen and Leibowitz cock-up, blustering, rambling and several times holding his hands in front of him in a protective/defensive gesture.
"As controller, I take responsibility," he said, as if he was bravely shouldering the blame for something that was not really his fault. In fact, it was he who fronted the press conference at which the mielading sequence was shown. I'm told by BBC friends that Fincham is not well liked at the corporation - though this may be because he's an incomer at an institution that values long service above pretty much all else.
Fincham vouchsafed that he did not think he should resign over the balls-up, though I suspect that had the offending sequence been broadcast, rather than just shown to journalists, he would be clearing his desk.
The BBC seems to me to have done a pretty good job of covering this issue fairly and appropriately. Gavin Esler was quite firm with Fincham - but you couldn't help wishing that it had been Paxman in the chair.