Tag Archives: BBC news

Complain about the BBC reporting of the death of Patrick Leigh Fermor

Following my article moaning about the paucity of BBC reporting around Paddy’s death, I have sent in a comment to the Feedback programme which holds BBC executives to account.

If enough of us raise the issue, I am sure that something will be done. At the very least we may get some weak explanation.

I encourage you to follow me and send an email to feedback@bbc.co.uk with your complaint. Don’t forget to add your name; town; and telephone number. They like to have that so they can get back to you if required.

The text of my email is below:

The writer, soldier, war hero and polymath, Paddy Leigh Fermor died on 10th June. I run a blog devoted to his life and work and was contacted by two news outlets by 1.00 pm.  The first report on the BBC was on the 6.00 pm news. I neither heard nor saw any more on the BBC until the website produced an obituary which included errors. The Broadcasting House programme on 12 Jun ran an excellent personal tribute by Colin Thubron.

 That seems to have been it for the BBC. Paddy represents one of the last of the WW2 generation; and a particularly distinguished one. His wartime service was uniquely famous for his role in capturing the German commander of Crete. He is acknowledged by many as Britain’s greatest travel writer yet we had few reports, no repeat showing of Traveller’s Century, in fact nothing to mark the passing of this great man.

 This has caused a lot of anguish and I would like the BBC to explain why they could not have done better when minor actresses receive more reporting, and also what the BBC intend to do to rectify this situation. Perhaps Paddy was seen as too much a figure of the establishment due to his friendships and he ran afoul of some left-wing inspired editorial policy, but if so it shows that the BBC team did not understand the man at all. 

Related article:

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

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