17/03/2014 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including gravity waves seen for the first time, childcare tax breaks, Crimea, and Noel Edmonds wants to buy the BBC.

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They are hailing it as the most important cosmic discovery in a


generation. It doesn't the big bang, that happened years ago, but it


shows what happened to make our universe. Gravity waves were


predicted by Einstein, it has taken a century to find them. Now that we


have, what have we proved? We will ask two happy scientists, and from


Boston, we talk to the man from the team who made the discovery. Flight


MH370, was it hijacked? Where is it? How can we have not the faintest


idea a week after the event? Emily has hints about the budget. They are


looking for help for all those hard working families. Will ?2,000


tax-free childcare do it? It has come to this, Noel Edmonds thinks


the license fee is dead and the BBC should effectively be privatised.


He's here to lay out his manifesto. As regular viewers will be more than


aware Newsnight isn't ashamed to reguerring Tate or more commonly


revisit ancient news, if it is news it is news to us. Tonight we surpass


ourselves with analysis of events at the very dawn of time, before even


the An teaks road show had been invented. American scientists


believed they discovered something that happened a fraction of a second


after the big bang, some several billion years ago. In the world of


cosmology, it is a very big deal indeed. Chris Lintot of the Sky At


Night fame reports for Newsnight. The universe began 13. Eight billion


years ago in a big bang, and scientists' imaginations can take us


almost to that point. Until now proving it has been impossible. In


an unspectacular setting remarkable news n a day that these scientists


thought would never come. A chance to test out theories in extreme


conditions. I'm at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the


historical home of British astronomy and place renowned for time keeping.


Even the astronomers here would be impressed if I told them we had


evidence something happened a ten million, billion, billionth of a


second after the big bang. Today's discovery comes from a radio


telescope at the South Pole, known as BicepII. It is great place to do


astronomy, it is desert dry, which allows it to see the oldest light in


the universe, the cosmic microwave background. This is this cosmic


microwave background. A picture of the universe as it was 400,000 years


after the big bang. You can see it is lumpy, there are dark bits cooler


than the average, and bright bits hotter than the average. And all of


that structure goes on to form the galaxies that we see around us


today. To begin with the universe was filled with a soup of particle,


mainly electron, and light scattered from one electron to another, but as


the universe expanded the electrons lost energy, and they are suddenly


captured by atomic nuclei. They scatter across the universe reaching


us on earth 13. 8 billion years later. That light contains the


distinctive imprint of a violent time in the universe's history, just


after the big bang, it seems the universe expanded almost


instantaneously, in a cosmic inflation. Space itself would ha


rippled, sending gravitational waves spreading out across the universe.


It is the affect of those waves that Bicep has seen today. Inflation is


an idea which has really solves a lot of problems. But finding


evidence for it is hard. And this is really the first, not direct


evidence, but it is indirect evidence which looks on the face of


it quite powerful. Inflation changed our universe forever, it created the


seeds from which the galaxies we see around us formed, it guaranteed that


the part of the universe we can see is only a tiny, and some would say,


insignificant part of all there is. What What we have seen today might


well be the first signal of an event that happened a tiny fraction of a


second after the big bang, but shaped the universe around us. If


this result stands up, it will be a red letter day in the history of if


Is sicks and win many people many Nobel Prizes in the years to come.


We have the co-leader of the Bicep operation, and we have our guests in


the studio. SMI First to Boston, were you surprised by what you


found? We were some what surprised. So previously indications were that


the signal was smaller than what we found. That was surprising, from a


theoretical perspective the signal is about the size it would be


expected to be. Of course it is very surprising to go on a, on what some


people might have characterised as a wild goose chase and find the goose.


Yes, we were very surprised. It must be amazing, you are looking evidence


of something that happened 14 billion years ago, what is that


like? We have been studying the microwave background for many years,


we have been looking back to the 400,000 year, that has been my


career. Today's discovery is special, because it is looking at an


imprint at that 400,000 year epoch, which comes from the first tiny,


tiny fraction of a second after the beginning. We are essentially seeing


gravitational waves from that first moment of creation, written on the


sky at 400,000 years. Were you following a hunch here. Did you find


that there was opposition to your pursuing this line of research? It


must have been phenomenally expensive? Actually our experiment


is not terribly expensive by the standards of modern physics


research. We are talking maybe $10-$20 million. It is a small


telescope and highly targeted experiment. We built it to look


specifically for this observational signature and nothing else. That


allowed it to be only modestly expensive. Did you find it difficult


to get backing? Well, you know, we are funded by the US National


Science Foundation, they fund a number of telescopes, after the same


goal as us. They differ in details but basically after the same goal.


So that is the way that they have decided to go. You know funding a


number of smaller experiments. The European Space Agency has right now


the Plunk Space Mission, which is a very expensive mission, which is


going after the same thing amongst other things. That is a more


generalised experiment. We have a couple of your colleagues here in


the studio in London, one is involved, you are both involved in


the Plank Project. Just you, you are involved in it. Exciting day isn't


it? It is an amazing day. This buzz has been building for a few days,


all these rumours on the Internet, and people were discussing what


could come. But I think the news that they got today exceeded


certainly my expectations, the level of the significantle thats was very


high. This was unexpected. The Plank had set a slightly lower limit, that


is very interesting. The way the experiment actually worked and the


level of the low noise they were able to achieve with the signal is


an incredible achievementnt actually worked and the level of the low


noise they were able to achieve with the signal is an incredible


achievement. Is there anything you want to ask him to make sure he got


it right? How long have you gathered this data for. I wasn't expecting


that. Is it recent or is it quite a bit of data. Before people publish


anything, you want to have robustness behind you. How much are


you holding in reserve and how much data do you have? The data we


announced today was taken between 2010-2012, the last of the data was


taken more than a year ago. The reason it has taken a time to


finalise the result and put it out is it was so unexpected, we needed


to test everything and drill into and slice and dice the data to try


to make sure we weren't making a mistake, that there wasn't


contamination from the experiment or sources on the ground, or even from


foreground mission on our own galaxy. We were pretty sure. We set


everything out in the papers we submitted today, and people can


judge for themselves. Supposing he's right, what's the significance?


Let's assume he's right. I will be the last to know, and so will many


other people, apart from some of our viewers, I suppose. Let's assume


that it is all as it appears, this is a sense sayingal discovery, why


does it matter? What we're looking at, there are two discoveries here,


the first I'm talking about gravitational waves, the elusive


gravitational waves. Einstein predicted them in 1916, and other


things he predicted, gravitational lens, have been proved and verified.


But gravitational waves was one of the elusive things we didn't have


evidence to support. Just the fact we have got that is another tick in


the box for that theory. This cosmic expansion has now been evidenced. We


have known about the big bang for many, many years, when you think


about the universe as the size of the marble, there are glitches with


that, things that didn't stand up with the theory. People made


suggestions in the 80s, they call up with -- came up with suggestions,


they came up with cosmic expansion, so in a tiny amount of time there


was massive expansion and you get the gravitational waves produced and


we are looking at the remnants now. That expansion was the blueprint for


the universe we live in today. So the terms and conditions at that


point dictate the universe we live in today. There are some people


talking about how this provides the hint to the theory of everything?


That's right. Can you explain in layman's terms what that means? So


this process of inflation that has been discussed here, tuly acted as


the origin of all the stuff that we see in the universe today. All the


galaxies, clusters of galaxies, planets, everything came from tiny


ripples in space in the early times. This is a direct hint of that time


and of that physics. So we have two theories, one is the Einstien's


general relatively, the theory of gravity. There is another pillar of


modern physics, quantum mechanics. These two theories by themselves are


inconsistent. They have to be unified in a broader theory. A


theory of quantum gravity. String theory is a candidate for that. If


we have gravitational waves at the level they have detected today, it


makes the physics really, really early and sensitive to quantum


gravity. I think this could be a tremendous leap in physics, not just


cosmology, if it pans out it could point to a significant breakthrough


in physics. Funny for of us in the taughtry tawedry business of news.


This is what it is all about. Do you hope for a Nobel Prize for this? We


have been deliberatelyRCEDYELLOW This is what it is all about. Do you


hope for a Nobel Prize for this? We have been deliberately not talking


about that, others have mentioned it! We are still no closer to the


solution of the mystery of how an airliner with 239 human beings on


board could suddenly vanish. The clues are minuscule or non-existent,


the mallakes -- Malaysian Government are looking


inept. We report from qualm had a loam per. -- Kuala Lumpur. One of


the capital's largest mosques. There is a presidential call for the


passengers who boarded the flight. In all the twists and turns of this


incredible story, one fact hasn't changed. 239 people are still


missing, seven of those children. These grainy CCTV pictures of the


pilots passing through security are another reminder how routine this


trip appeared to be. The possibility that a crew member was involved in


the plane's disappearance is still a major and inevitable line of


inquiry. It is in this wealthy gated suburb of Kuala Lumpur that the


captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, lives, he has a wife and three children.


Security is tight here, any photographers caught inside risk


having their memory cards wiped and the police called. We now know that


flight MH370 was deliberately steered off course, and put through


a series of complex manoeuvres, perhaps designed to avoid military


radar. It appears someone with advanced flying skills must have


been responsible. The key question is who was at the controls at that


time, and where were they acting alone or under duress. Over the


weekend attention was on the 53-year-old chief pilot. Hi


everyone, this is YouTube video... Zaharie Ahmad Shah had built his own


high-tech Boeing 777 simulator. The police have seized the system and


rebuilt it to test the routes he was flying. Their newspapers brought up


his support for Malaysia's opposition party, headed by their


imprisoned leader words like "fanatic" and "obsessed" were used.


Today a senior politician confirmed to Newsnight he was personal friends


to the pilot, but said any attempt to bring in domestic politics was


part of a crude campaign for smear. What I know of him he's not anyone


who would put his passengers or plane in danger. The Daily Mail also


suggested that he was a vocal political activist or social


activist and went on to describe him as a political fanatic. I think


that's really completely wrong. From what I know of him, you can't


describe him as that. He was a member, he was a quiet member. You


know he was just an ordinary member of the party. He did some social


work for underprivileged kids, and that's it. Today we also learned


more about the movements of flight MH370, a modern Boeing 777. It took


off bound for Beijing in the early hours of March 8th. As it left the


country it passed an automated message giving details of its


position to a system known as ACARSs, times in the minutes after


that, it is not clear when, that system was switched off. By 1. 19am,


someone in the cockpit calmly spoke to staff saying "all right, good


night". We heard those words crucially came from the second pilot


not the captain. Two minutes after the good night message the plane's


transponder was switched off, hiding its position from air traffic


control. And Mr Hamid's family home this afternoon, there was no-one in,


a strong padlock on the door and police circulating outside. We still


don't know if he was involved in the plane's disappearance or possibly


acting under duress. But today's news means once again officials are


appearing to backtrack on earlier statements adding to the confusion


around this crisis. By 2. 15am on March 8th military radar have picked


up the plane hundreds of miles west, well off course. It then appeared to


vanish. But MH370 was still sending a crude signal to a satellite high


above earth, own by a British company. That tells us that six


hours later, with 30 minutes of fuel left in its tank it was somewhere on


one of these two vast flight corridors, stretching from the


southern Indian Ocean to Kazakhstan in Asia. At a packed news


conference, Malaysia's Transport Minister said he had now asked 26


countries to join in the search and rescue effort, based on new data,


that search started today. The fact that there are no distress signals


or Rand some notes, there are no parties claiming to be responsible,


there is always hope. Hope or no hope, for friends and family of the


missing the waiting as soon as. At the airport where their loved ones


set off ten days a the temporary shrine to those on boardpe, for


friends and family of the missing the waiting as soon as. At the


airport where their loved ones set off ten days a the temporary shrine


to those on board. The "hard working families" phrase has been pretty


much part of every speech the Chancellor has made over the past


few weeks. Tonight the first signs of what this might mean in practice


for Wednesday's budget. He is to unveil a package which includes


tax-free childcare for children up to 12, as well as more money for


nurseries and families on benefits. What have you heard? This is, we


think, a pretty big childcare announcement that should help most


families with children under 12. The Government is you evering to put --


offering to put up to ?2,000 per child per year for tax relief, that


would affect every family where each working parent earns below ?150,000.


That is a pretty high threshold. The Tory side to this is a nod towards


universalism, perhaps to appease those affected by child benefit. It


will be for nurseries and disadvantaged children. This is


something the Liberal Democrats would want to see included. They do


this before every budget selectively releasing things they think will


make them look good. What is new ind want to see included. They do this


before every budget selectively releasing things they think will


make them look good. What is new in it? It is being rolled out and a lot


of it not until 2017. The overall structure we have heard before. It


is much more money, it is ?2,000, more people will find themselves


eligible, including those self-employed, and it moves the


Tories crucially for them on to this cost of living territory and it


responds to those previous cuts in child benefit. What is the


anticipated response? Well, the Liberal Democrats are saying this is


a perfect example of the coalition working side-by-side. They each give


the other side credit. Labour has already come forward and said that


this is only help after the next election, so it is too little too


late. They say David Cameron has already shown has true colours by


cutting support for children and families by ?15 billion since he


came to office. Crucially though it will be quite controversial for stay


at home mums, that rather terrible phrase, but this doesn't come into


play if one side of the family, one parent works from home, doesn't go


out to work or only helps lone working parents. It won't help them.


The Conservatives of course would say they are covered in the married


tax allowance, which comes into play in April of 2015. The good news over


the confrontation about Crimea is hasn't become a military clash


between east and west. That is as far as it goes. The European Union


and the United States have imposed sanctions, travel bans and asset


freezes on both Russians and Ukrainians sympathetic to the


Russian intervention. The Russians say the sanctions reflect an


inability to see reality as expressed in the referendum they


organised. President Putin has signed a degree recognising Crimea


as an independent and sovereign state. We're in the capital of


Crimea. Tell me about these sanctions? The EU have put them in


place on several individuals, mostly officials here in this newly


independent Republic of Crimea. The ones from the United States, more


interesting perhaps, seven people close to President Putin. His inner


circle, if you like, of advisers on foreign policy and legal aspects of


what has been done. And while I think it is fair to say that the


European ones aren't going to cause too many sleepless nights here and


many of these local officials don't have much money, the asset seizures


and other measures are definitely sending a signal from the US to


President Putin. Won't Putin though have seen these coming rather? I


think he has. If you look at this, each side seems to have thought a


couple of steps ahead. We have had the threats for example of military


intervention in eastern Ukraine. I don't think he wants to do that at


the moment. And it seems to have been designed to make people accept


the loss of Crimea, if you like, as the lesser problem. He's also talked


about, hinted that he realised Russia may be forced out of the G8


organisation. He's definitely done that. Interestingly hints from


President Obama that he too has done that, talking about further steps in


prospect, the Americans ultimately if this got worse and worse could go


to Iran-style sanctions. But at the moment nobody here in Crimea is


losing sleep about that, they are ebb bullent, they feel they are


winning. NSMIT Here they believe might is right. Security was stepped


up and a message sent to foreigners who said their referendum was


illegal. Inside the thumping majority for union with Russia


brought the deputies to rapture. Then they voted through a series of


dramatic laws to adopt the rouble, even to switch to Russian time zone,


and of course for union with Russia. They did no more than answer the


call of so many Crimeans to escape the ineptitude of Ukrainian rule and


enter the powerful embrace of Mother Russia. TRANSLATION: The Ukraine


will not be able to unite us and so give us a better life. Russia is a


stronger country, I'm Russian myself, I'm from St Petersburg, and


I know that life will be better now. But it was done so crudely, a false


choice of ballot that made what would naturally have been a majority


for Russia into something spurn bid the wider world and creating so many


new problems. Another law voted through this morning called for the


disbandment of all the blockaded Ukrainian army units in Crimea. This


is the airfield where early on Russian troops seized it and fired


over the heads of Ukrainians who tried to take their base back. But


we found signs that the spirit of resistance has flagged and that each


man must take his own decisions. Like this officer who wanted his


identity concealed. All my colleagues will decide which side we


want to serve. Do you think perhaps the politicians in Kiev have given


up that they don't think it is possible to hold the bases? For them


it would be hard to leave us here in Crimea, it would be very hard to


leave us on this base. What sort of decision do you think you will make?


I will serve the Ukrainian nation and people. You will have to leave?


Yes. I have to leave my own city, my natural city, I was porn born here.


Unfortunately I have to do this. Here too is evidence of a deal to


keep tensions under control. The Russians have pulled back on to the


ridge out of view, while the personnel make up their minds to


stay or go. ATR, an independent TV channel today relayed parliament's


latest decisions. The station's owned by Crimean Tatas, many of whom


refused to vote yesterday, and who feel they too will lose from this


rapid move towards Russia. TRANSLATION: This is really an


anxious time for us, we have been through a lot of difficulties. So it


isn't easy to say whether things are going to get better now. But the


thing is, we are worried, and judging by Russian policy today, our


worst fears may come through. For Crimean Tatas, a memory of this man,


who deported their entire people after the war haunts them. And


Stalin's grand design has its timely reminder for Europe too. For it was


here in 1945 at the Crimean resort that there was an earlier


acquiscence to Moscow that had far-reaching consequences. Britain


and America went along here with the idea that each great power should


have its sphere of influence. And many people saw that as consigning


millions in Eastern Europe to the mercy of the Kremlin. And that's why


Yalta has some concomfortable resonances today. It is this concept


that Russia can pretty much do what it wants in its own back yard. But


history has a more positive meaning for Russians, so much so it is used


and abused in today's messages to the Crimean people. Can it inform


the future and carry them through the crisis, we asked some students?


I love the Ukrainian language, the Ukrainian poets and music. But I


don't like the Government at the moment. I don't like what they do. I


think this is really pretty good idea to go, it is joining Russia at


the moment. Most of may've friends are not happy at all, Crimea must be


with the People divide on whether Russia has flouted its power here.


But in the actions of the past day the Kremlin has shown it will


weather the storm and drive over the opposition to the annexation of


Crimea. The organisation which is supposed to keep an eye on the


police has looked at itself and found itself rather wanting. In


particular it notices that the families of people who have died


while in police custody consider it hard hearted and lacking in


compassion. The Independent Police Complaints Commisssion, acknowledges


a raft of faults but doesn't call for itself to be abolished. Others


are saying that is absolutely what ought to happen. The strongest


criticism in today's report is how the IPCC engage with bereaved


families in its investigations. Families complained that


communication lacked empathy, sensitively and compassion, some


felt they and those who had died were wrongly characterised or


unfairly judged. There were also questions about how independent the


IPCC actually is? The family of Sean Rigg have been the most vocal in


their criticism. In 2008 Sean Rigg died after a cardiac arrest while


being held at Brixton Police Station. Unusually the IPCC had to


set up a review into its own investigation after an inquest into


Mr Rigg's death found that police officers had used unsuitable force.


Something the first report failed to recognise. There is no trust in the


police. At all within the community and particularly within the black


community. Because they are corrupt, they are racist and they don't care.


They are killing us. They are killing us. This self-scrutiny by


the IPCC follows criticism of the police itself over the undercover


infiltration of political groups. The same force is still recovering


from the damage to its reputation caused by the plebgate scandal. The


IPCC itself had to apologise to the family of Mark Duggan, whose death


in 2011 led to riots in London and other cities. The IPCC had wrongly


told the media that he had fired at police before he was shot. Earlier


this month the shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper called for the body to


be abolished saying the system wasn't working and the IPCC has


failed or proved irrelevant too many times, and lacks the powers and


authorities it needs. We have the chair of the Independent


Police Complaints Commisssion, the IPCC and she is here. We will come


to Yvette Cooper's point in a moment. You took over in 2012. Were


you surprised at how bad the situation was that you found there?


No I wasn't actually. I was immediately struck by how


demoralised people were. People felt battered by criticism and often when


people feel battered by criticism they retreat into being quite


defensive. But you can't deny the things the IPCC has achieved and


will continue to achieve. We don't always get it right. By no means do


we get it wrong. There have been some pretty aggrieguos error,


particularly that Mark Duggan had fired at the police when he hadn't?


How does It happens, it was not in the news release and it led to


changes. You did ask around how it happened? It was a comment who


thought that was what happened when asked by a journalist. But it wasn't


in the official press release. It was completely wrong. It wasn't


right, absolutely. It is a classic example of when these things happen,


these crises, of only saying those things that you absolutely know to


be the case. It couldn't happen again. I would hope it wouldn't. We


have made huge steps to make sure it wouldn't happen again. You look at


this report it is pretty scathing, it talks about a lack of


thoroughness, a lack of robust analysis of evidence, a lack of


sufficient challenge to police accounts. These are serious points?


This is our review of ourselves. You are looking yourself in the face and


not liking what you see? We are acknowledging the times we haven't


got it right. That doesn't mean that is always the case. For example


there are 20 metropolitan police officers dismissed as a result of


IPCC investigations. There are fewer than half the deaths in custody. We


need to look at when we don't get it right, why is that? We have


identified some of the areas we need to look at. You do accept there is a


perception among some people that the job of your organisation is to


explain away the behaviour of the police rather than to investigate


it? I don't think that is true. Of course you would say that? That's


not the kind of organisation I would lead or want to lead. That is not


where I'm coming from. I think sometimes we haven't been


sufficiently probing, that is absolutely right. I think sometimes


the first account and the most coherent account you get is the


account from the police. That doesn't make it wrong but it doesn't


make it right. Investigating the police is a really hard job. And


mainly carried out by ex-policemen? Not mainly at all. Around a quarter


of our investigators are ex-police officers, and about 40% all together


have worked for the police. But we have independent commissioners who


have never worked for the police sitting on top of every


investigation. We have strengthened their role. We are building a


culture of challenge and a culture where we can challenge each other


internally to challenge others and challenge externally. How much do


you cost a year? At the moment our core putting is about ?32 million


and money for Hillsborough. How much is that spent investigating? A lot


of it is spent investigating and dealing with appeals against the


police. We deal with 6,000 appeals every year against police


investigations, we uphold the appellant half the times. In 47% of


cases the police have got it wrong in investigations and we tell them


so. It is the case, isn't it, that the majority of cases that are


recommended to you can't investigate? We haven't got the


resources to do it, no. We will be giving more resources. It is an


enormous chasam too isn't it? It is something that really troubles us,


every week we get 70 cases referred by the police. We can't deal with as


many as we want to. How many of that 70 do you reckon you can deal with?


Perhaps one or two, we are dealing with 130 all together. That is all


we can do. But we are getting more resources to do more. Would you not


conclude that from that Yvette Cooper is probably righ that it is


about time you were wound up and replaced with something a bit more


efficient? It is not efficiency it is time we were given more resources


to do the job the public want us to. If you get 2,000 cases referred to


you a year and you can investigate a few hundred. It may be a case of


efficiency or lack of eCirbedcy? We are also doing 6 thousand appeals


every year from investigations -- 6,000 appeals every year where the


local police have got it wrong. We don't just do investigations we do


the appeals also. We were never sufficiently resourced and now we


are getting them. When do you reckon you will be able to do 100% of the


cases you are asked to do? I would hope as more resources come in the


next three years we will be able to do the serious and sensitive cases


the public expects an independent body to look at. That will take


three years to get to what you think you would like to get to let alone


100%? It will take more resource and more resource means you have to


recruit more staff. Even when I get more money I can't send pound notes


to interview, we have to employ the right staff in the right place. No


business in the world will say it can expand massively within a year.


You have to do it properly and you have to get the right people in the


right place. I do not want to be doing investigations to the poor


quality that the police are doing many investigations just now I want


to be able to do them properly and well. Otherwise we will get exactly


the same kind of reports that we are having. How many poor-quality


investigations by the police do you come across then? As I say 47% of


those cases appealed to us, we uphold the appeal on the ground the


police haven't done it well enough. How was it then that things got so


bad in the police, and so demoralised in your organisation


that we got to this mess? I think again when the IPCC was set up, it


was doing something that had never been done before, independently


investigating the police. Nobody had tried doing that before. It faced


considerable resistance from the police, and from the beginning it


was underresourced for the job it the public expected. That is a


triple whammy. In the face of that to have done what the IPCC has done.


To have a lot of people not walking the streets of police uniform


because of investigations, to have the number of deaths in custody more


than halved. To have considerable changes in police practice. Those


are real results. But we have to get it right consistently and across the


board. This is the last gasp, if you don't get it right now you will be


wound up? Absolutely, we have a huge challenge and opportunity. More


resores but more expected. I know that and all our staff know that.


When we ask our staff, what do you want to do, what gets them out of


bed in the morning, they say trust today hold the police to accountice


to account. That is an organisation worth working for. At last someone


has come up with a scheme to save the BBC, an organisation everyone


says they love in principle, but which fewer and fewer of us seem


keen to put into practice. Comeeth the hour cometh the man. Noel


Edmonds has talked about buying it with investors. He has denied that


Keith keg win will become controller of BBC Four and says he's entirely


serious. What do you reckon is the notional value of the BBC if it can


be boughtC Four and says he's entirely serious. What do you reckon


is the notional value of the BBC if it can be bought? I have no idea,


because the components are changing every week. I have no idea and we


have run models on what the BBC would be worth today and at the end


of the next round of cuts and what it could be worth on the open


market. And those figures are roughly what? I'm not going to say


at this particular time, for obvious business reasons. So you have got,


when you say "we", you have got a consortium of people together have


you? Yes. Project Rieth, predates everything that has recently


happened for the BBC, by that I mean the Jimmy Savile scandal, and the


George Enthwhistle in for 60 days. The matter of executive pay and what


people were entitled to. Attacks by eminent broadcasters on the BBC. And


of course the announcement that BBC will be cut. The project actually


started about 18 months ago. Who are these people? Like-minded people,


people who don't want to see Britain lose the BBC and that is how serious


it is. Who are they? Like-minded people, what, with the greatest of


respect, lots of blokes with beards presenting afternoon television


series, what is the like-minded people? I won't talk about the


components of this project in that kind of detail. There will be the


right time to do that. We believe that the BBC is sleepwalking its way


to destruction, and the BBC will be lost to Britain. We do not think


that is right. Mr Blobby is the man to save it? Well, Jeremy, I like the


little extras that you are throwing into this but the situation is very,


very serious. You yourself has said, John Humphreys has said in the last


48 hours. This is a really serious situation, where the BBC because of


its triple problems and the way it is funded, historic baggage and the


way in which it is used as a political football. Its future, its


very future is in doubt. What would it be like under your consortium,


what would the BBC do that it doesn't do now or not do that it


does do now? I doubt it you have the time for me to go into the kind of


detail that clearly you want. But you have got to look at where the


BBC is currently going to try to imagine how you would make it fit


for purpose. It is not fit for purpose in the Apple age and


Microsoft. The age very large businesses that would love to pick


over the carcass of the BBC. As quite clearly the BBC is recognising


it is the wrong shape. What would you cut? I'm not going to say what


we will cut. Because we don't know what will be left. Is BBC Four going


to go in a moment, will we lose the two children's channels. What I


would say is because of the historic baggage, we have got a ridiculous


situation where the license fee now covers the World Service. Most


people in Britain don't know how to get the World Service. There are


50,000 people speaking gaelic, Welsh language has been declining over ten


years and the BBC spends ?48 million on that. Clearly you have to look at


making the BBC relevant to the Internet age. Bad news for the


Welsh. What about orchestras? That is not true, because they would


still have Welsh services as Scotland would. It is the extra


things that most people these days can get on-line. And the BBC,


frankly, if it owned up to it, is lumbered with it. They don't want to


be paying for the World Service, I have massive love and respect for


the BBC, but the problem is it doesn't have enough control over its


over future. It is a patient that is terminally ill and it needs another


force from outside to cure it and make it fit for a world that we


couldn't have envisaged ten years ago. Ten years ago we haven't have


YouTube or Netflix, we didn't have iPads or these kinds of things. The


way to get the BBC in ten years' time if it was, and it does get an


extension of the royal charter. We will be getting our entertainment,


manufactures and education in a totally different way. The BBC has


to be configured to do that. Clearly that has to happen. There has to be


a huge change. But please don't be as secretive about this as you have


been about investors and promming plans and the rest -- programme


plans and the rest of it. Are you currently paying the TV license fee?


I don't have a TV license. Is that because you don't have a television?


I don't watch, except on catch-up. On't have a TV license. Is that


because you don't have a television? I don't watch, except on catch-up.


That's it for tonight, if you were hoping for the film on FGM it will


be on later on in the week. Clarissa Dixon Wright died today,


she was well known for the show Two Fat Ladies, but around our office


she's most fondly recalled for keeping hungry hacks going through


some long winter evenings a few years ago. Good night. Right you


lot, here you are. You were


Gravity waves seen for the first time. What does it prove? Childcare tax breaks. The plane. Crimea. IPCC chair v Paxman. Noel Edmunds wants to buy the BBC.

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