In the spring of 2004, TV Cream compiled its own version of the Media Guardian’s annual Movers And Shakers list. Except it ran to 50 people, not 100. And was somewhat skewed towards folk we, well, would have liked to have met in real life.
Seeing as how the Guardian has just published its latest countdown, it’s a suitable moment to see how TVC’s feted heroes have faired over the course of three and a bit years. Only the top ten, mind. The really important ones.
10) ALAN YENTOB
Still hanging on at the Beeb, albeit increasingly playing the role of an avuncular figurehead and management away-day off-site conference after-dinner raconteur. He’s still doing Imagine, though, and pops up with a bon mot whenever anyone dares slag off Auntie’s arts and culture output.
9) EUAN KERR
Dunno about this. ‘He’ was the editor of the Beano in early 2004. Not having read a copy of late (or, indeed, ever), the whereabouts of this mildly amusing nom de plume are unclear.
8) RICHARD MARSON
Oh dear. Poor Rich is now out on his arse having slipped up big time when a ‘junior researcher’ (always to blame when something goes wrong) got a child to impersonate another child for the benefit of a phone-in competition. So far the affair has cost Marson his job and, as of today, the BBC a massive £50,000. Still, perhaps there won’t be so many shameless Dr Who plugs now he’s gone.
7) ASHLEY HIGHFIELD
Things aren’t looking good for Ash at the minute, largely due to all the faffing and fussing going on with the iPlayer: a fantastic idea, and one which, if Greg Dyke had still been in charge, would have been up and running years ago. Instead the BBC nabobs have been dragging their heels and Highfield’s empire looks increasingly under threat.
6) ROLY KEATING
On the up. He’s since swapped the job of controller of BBC4 for the same post at BBC2, and seems settled into a long-term residency at Shepherd’s Bush. All his decent shows keep getting nicked by BBC1, however, leaving him to make do with pinching stuff off BBC3 like – erk – Torchwood.
5) JOHN HUMPHRYS
Still soldiering on and being brilliant. He was even persuaded to leave the Today studio for a bit last year and do a tour of duty in Iraq.
4) GREG DYKE
Now come on. One man can only hide away for so long. Merely whiling away the hours and millions of pounds isn’t helping anyone, let alone fans of decent British telly, like Greg’s mum. Somebody give him a job, for god’s sake. How about editor of Blue Peter?
3) ROLF HARRIS
Not so ubiquitous as he was in 2004, but then he is getting on. 2007’s not been a vintage year either, with his show Rolf’s Star Portraits getting axed and one too many demented mass ‘happenings’ in Trafalgar Square.
2) DICK AND DOM
Officially dissolved. While Dom’s been busy cheerfully turning his hand to panel shows, reality TV spin-offs and wacky science, Dick has just sulked. Fame: a cruel mistress, and not that much of a wife either.
1) MICHAEL GRADE
Ouch. Never underestimate a Grade’s penchant for a bit of behind-the-scenes treachery. Pretty much everyone at the BBC was pissed off when Mike legged it for ITV last Christmas. He claims he now feels “at home”. Sure enough, pretty soon that legendary Grade cheque book was being waved in the faces of the Football Association. Whether his equally legendary feel for populist TV and the black arts of scheduling can do any good at the ITV of 2007, though, remains to be seen. Especially as nothing is any good at the ITV of 2007.