Latest Issue

The way we were: Attitudes to the BBC

Extracts from memoirs and diaries

By Ian Irvine   September 2015

John Birt, Director General of the BBC from 1992-2000. © BBC

Frances Stevenson, secretary and mistress of David Lloyd George, writes in her diary on 21st March 1934: “We dined before the broadcast with John Reith [BBC Director General]—he is a curious character—a cross between a canny Scot and a medieval saint—but more of the fanatic in him than the academic. He firmly believes in the mission of the BBC to purify the life of the nation. Lord…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect