When Edinburgh drops it

Our starter is this little conversation.

shinydh: I am genuinely interested in what happens when Philip dies, assuming he does so before Lizzie. We know Lizzie coverage will be smothering but Philip? His death would be a good litmus test for the reaction of British society and media in my opinion.

The_Arn: Probably similar to the Queen Mother I'd say.

shinydh: ...which would have been a heck of a lot more smothering a year earlier. If memory serves BBC explicitly dialled down those plans post-9/11.

Our contemporaneous notes recall that BBC1 gave over about three-and-a-half hours of breaking news and tributes. Opinion in BBC News sees this as an error. Roger Mosey, the head of news in 2002, said a better response would have been to put up a short (5 minute) obituary, repeat the news, give any fast-breaking reaction, and then go to a mid-length (15 minute) obituary. That basically buys the newsroom half an hour to line up guests and look serene.

The main change from 2002 is that all viewers have choice. If people want to watch BBC Dead Duke 24, it will be available. If they want to ignore it, many commercial channels will line up. Semi-major channels like ITV2 and E4 could well run without much change, except perhaps during the day of the funeral.

(More: Reflections on Liz Bowes-Lyon and Margaret Thatcher)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.