Crisis . . . Shambles . . . Meltdown . . . Disgrace. Frankly, you can take your pick of inflammatory phrases to sum up the sorry predicament of the BBC today.
The grand old lady of British broadcasting has long been part of our national fabric, revered around the world as a trustworthy purveyor of quality programming.
But right at this moment, it is in a state of complete disarray and, as David Cameron rightly points out, needs to get its house in order rapidly if it is to chart a course for true redemption.
We are told that director general George Entwistle, who had only been in post since September, did the ‘honourable thing’ by stepping down.
Perhaps he will now take the equally honourable step of handing back half of his £450,000 pay-off, since this licence payers’ money is twice the contractually required minimum.
At a time when the BBC is cutting back its programming budget, impacting on its grass-roots services in Shropshire and claiming it cannot compete with its commercial rivals, this is an unthinkably inappropriate display of double standards.
You have to sympathise with the new acting BBC director general, Tim Davie, who has inherited what must be the most impossible job in the British media.
He is faced with the prospect of brushing away both executive tumbleweed and flak from a dissatisfied public, at the same time as calmly, quietly, sitting down and working out what to do next.
Only a thorough, radical, structural overhaul will restore public faith in the corporation.
And it is clear after the Newsnight scandal, which presenter Jeremy Paxman claims was brought about by ‘cowards and incompetents’, that this overhaul needs to start at the very top.Subscribe to our Newsletter