The pitiful BBC reporting of Paddy’s death: they let Paddy down for a second time

Time for a moan, and a big moan at that. I write without any objectivity, and with the clear unreconstructed bias of a fan. The BBC let Paddy and Billy Moss down in 1944 when they captured Kreipe; the BBC did not send out the agreed message about having already taken the General off the island thus intensifying the search. In my view the reporting of his death is another let down for Paddy.

I listened to as much news as I could on Friday, and I only recall hearing one mention on the BBC Radio Four news programmes: Adam Porter’s account 25 minutes into the Six O’clock news. Not even a mention on the flagship daily arts programme, Front Row, and as far as I could tell nothing on the television news either.

Even the short obituary on the BBC news website contains a glaring error saying that Paddy lived his last years in Crete; no, it was in the Mani near Kardamyli!! Sloppy journalism and showing a distinct disdain for the man. (edit: I see they have now changed this to ‘Greece’ – well that hits the spot!)

Colin Thubon gave an excellent tribute on the Broadcasting House programme this morning, Sunday 12 June.

The death of Paddy at the age of 96 years is clearly distressing to his family, friends, and even those of us who are quite simply admirers. However, it is much more than this; it is an event of national and international significance.

We have lost a great man, one of the last of a breed of British men who gave their all to secure victory against Fascism, and then went on to live even more remarkable lives afterwards. Paddy’s achievements were unique and worth celebrating in themselves. However, as one of the last of a kind the case for a full and proper tribute is even more compelling.

I only hope that at this very moment BBC editorial staff are working on a proper programme to commemorate his life, and that even at this late hour the BBC may rescue itself from the condemnation it appears to want to bring upon itself.

Tom Sawford


10 thoughts on “The pitiful BBC reporting of Paddy’s death: they let Paddy down for a second time

  1. Coralie Wink

    Sloppy journalism gets even worse; see quote from BBC orbituary: “So, on 8 December 1933, a month after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, …”

    Hitler had in fact already come to power (i.e. been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany) on January 30th 1933.

  2. Pingback: Complain about the BBC reporting of the death of Patrick Leigh Fermor « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  3. peter fogarty

    I could agree more I read the obitury in the telegraph and was surprised and very disappointed about the level and extent of coverage by the BBC. Here we have the death of one of the very greatest living Englishman and the BBC could not find the time to cover the event and relect on the moment-does anybody know a seior member of the BBC executive in order to extract an explanation.

  4. Andy

    Look at it from the BBC’s point of view. PLF was a war hero, the lover of a princess, took part in a cavalry charge, I believe, against communist insurgents in Greece. He was well read, erudite, spoke a number of languages and was a contemporary of the Devonshires- Mitford sisters, HRH PC. PLF was also a fox hunter, an officer and a gentleman. Small wonder the Beeb finds his whole persona unsettling. Personally I rarely listen the BBC finding its left wing anti-Christian bias tedious.
    Title suggestion : England’s greatest writer…..

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      I felt the same Andy – he just does not fit with the champagne socilaist, ex-student agitator, management of the BBC. It appears the world has moved on and the only thing worth noting these days is who is winning the latest (lack of) talent show.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I plan to open it up for further suggestions in a few days.


    2. John Stathatos

      Paddy’s famous cavalry charge (incidentally, on a horse abstracted without permission from my grandfather’s stables) was not against communists but again regular Greek troops supporting General Plastiras’ abortive republican coup. The background to the coup was extremely complicated, and I doubt Paddy was fully aware of the politics, or even really cared much one way or another. In any case, the coup, which had no support from the Republican leader, Venizelos, quickly fizzled out, and the monarchy was eventually restored.

    3. Roger Kojan

      BBC left wing and anti-Christian? I dont see this myself, occasionally incompetent as in its failure to do justice to P L Fermor. As a champagne socialist and ex student agitator, I really enjoy Fermor’s writings and looking forward to the third volume of of his walk through Europe and the Artemis Cooper biography. I appreciated his empathy with ordinary working people as well as his ability to observe the aristocracy.

  5. Paul Johnston

    You need to change the greatest living englishman tag now. Can’t say I was ever too keen on it – PLF would have found it terribly over the top

    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Paul – we each have our views. That was mine. I am thinking it over and it perhaps should change. Do you have any suggestions?


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