Broadcasters should learn that silence can be golden

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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When you’re a broadcaster, it’s taken for granted you’ve got a big mouth, but that doesn’t always mean you’ve got something to say.

Radio show hosts and TV pundits are the worst for thinking that when they speak, everyone else should give a damn.

So when they find out they are to be given the boot, they mistakenly believe we should take a pew and listen reverentially to the reasons why they feel it’s all so unfair.

Anyone tuning into Danny Baker’s BBC London show last week would have heard him deliver a number of on-air rants aimed at his bosses over the way he’d found out his programme was to be axed. He later took to Twitter to continue the tirade, making the rest of us aware of what was going on.

Fair play, he was annoyed. It’s a successful programme, he’s won awards and he doesn’t feel like it’s his time to go.

But there’s a fine line between having a moan and wallowing in self-pity. And it wasn’t long before the normally effervescent Baker hadn’t just crossed the line – he’d pole vaulted over it and landed himself in dodgy territory.

You see, if you’re a radio or TV personality, the chances are you earn a salary most people will find disproportionately generous. People flatter your ego because you’re good at chatting and your wage packet reflects that.

It’s the main perk of being famous. But the down side – and there has to be one because that’s life – is you’re not guaranteed a job for life. There’s always a queue of bright new things waiting in the wings to go on. Being told to move aside for a new voice is simply part of the showbiz game you’ve agreed to play.

There’s no point in squinnying because your audience may well find it hard to feel sorry for you. For the most part, our sympathy is reserved for those normal folk who’ve also found out they’ve been given the boot but can’t use the airwarves to tout for a new job.

Baker’s already been linked to other programmes and looks like he’ll not be out of work for long.

So while some might think he’s a maverick for venting forth, I think he should have kept his mouth shut for once and been grateful for what he’s got.