It’s always fun seeing dramatisations of life at the BBC, and last week’s Mary Whitehouse knockabout was no exception. But they’re all too rare, and there’s a ton of stuff that could be given the same treatment.
So here’s an idea for anybody – though preferably Roly Keating at BBC2 – to commission: a drama serial along the lines of Our Friends In The North, telling the history of the Beeb from the end of the Second World War up to, say, 1987 when John Birt arrived and the DG was sacked.
Each episode would focus on one particular year, like 1955 when ITV started or 1978 when Christmas almost got cancelled because of strikes. The same actors would play the same characters throughout the series (again, like Our Friends). Other people would come and go through the decades. There’d be appearances from then-contemporary politicians and celebrities.
It would, it could, be marvellous. The key, though, would be the casting. For starters, how about:
ALASDAIR MILNE: David Tennant
BILL COTTON: Warren Clarke
MICHAEL GRADE: David Morrissey
DAVID FROST: Michael Sheen
ESTHER RANTZEN: Caroline Quentin
FRANK BOUGH: Anthony Head
TERRY WOGAN: Peter Serafinowicz