BBC – a mega-shambles subsides for now

The BBC’s talent for shooting itself in the foot and bungling a response has dominated the UK headlines for days. The issue at stake is whether a top sports presenter who owes his social media fame to his decades-long association with the BBC should keep his political views to himself. Journalists should be impartial/neutral but until a few years ago it was accepted sports presenters were not held to the same strictures.

  [The public stand off has now ended with Lineker returning and a new review of guidelines underway.]

   Complicating the issue is the often specious distinction between ‘employed’ and ‘freelance.’ HMRC (the revenue) tightened their rules and the BBC was blamed for forcing presenters whose main livelihood was the BBC to be registered for tax purposes as ‘freelance.’ Freelancers in theory and by definition do not owe loyalty to one organization.

  Adding another layer of difficulty is the rapid intrusion of what Rod Liddle described as ‘the magnificent derangement, the psychosis, of the people inhabiting that moronic inferno cyberspace.’ Twitter. Shooting off trite, knee jerk rapid responses in 150 characters to complex problems adds little to enlightenment. The excuse that the Home Secretary’s inflammatory language needs to be called out sounds reasonable. The question is by whom and on what platform? Continuing Rod Liddle’s chuckle-worthy thoughts yesterday – do we want to hear a crisp-seller’s views? Lineker having a healthy advertising sideline as well.

   Tim Davie, the new BBC Director General swooped in two years ago and said he would tighten the rules about high profile presenters letting fly on twitter etc. So why was that not laid on the line to Lineker two years back?  If he felt the new system ran against his integrity, his contract could have been allowed to lapse. Leaving it until it became a public three ring circus was more than foolish.

The BBC was launched 14 November 1922 6pm London with the Sun and two other planets in Scorpio in its entertaining 5th house. The Sun squares Neptune which opposes Mars in contrary, obstinate Aquarius; and it has a Water Grand Trine of Pluto trine Mercury in Scorpio trine Uranus in the 10th; and Pluto square Saturn. All of which adds up to an enduring but inordinately stubborn organization, creative with a capacity for healing, but often cut off from reality, living in its own bubble. Getting the BBC to admit it is wrong has always been a monumental task.

  This year tr Uranus will square the BBC Neptune late April/early May and then oppose the Sun from mid June onwards, on and off into early 2024 – upheavals, disruptions, high tension.  Tr Saturn moving across the 10th house from last year for another three years will be a time when mistakes will be called out as well as one of heavier responsibilities. 2024 may see more chickens coming home to roost with the Solar Eclipses catching the BBC Saturn in Libra.

  The present Director General Tim Davie, 25 April 1967, is a Sun Taurus but what is significant is his Mercury in Aries on the focal point of a yod inconjunct Pluto Uranus sextile Neptune (Moon). His Solar Arc Neptune is square his Mercury this year for a mega-confusion. An Astro nugget.

  What is more pertinent to the BBC’s reputation is the Chairman Richard Sharp appointed by Boris Johnson – with an investigation ongoing as to whether Sharp, a banker to trade and a Tory party donor, facilitated a near £1 million loan for the rancid prime minister. All denied. The mismanaged Lineker shambles has dragged his position back into the limelight.

   Born 8 February 1956, Sharp is a Sun Aquarius opposition a super-confident Jupiter Pluto in Leo; with Mercury in Capricorn opposition Uranus square Neptune. His chart is in all sorts of trouble this year with – tr Pluto opposing his Uranus now and then square his Neptune later this month till mid June and again through 2024; and tr Uranus square his Sun at 18 degrees Aquarius late April/early May. Plus tr Neptune conjunct his Venus plus various unhappy midpoints.

  Sharp’s relationship with Boris Johnson looks highly aggravated and upended from mid April this year and with the BBC he’s on a knife edge from mid May if not before. He won’t go easily but I reckon he will be forced to ultimately.

 The BBC was started by John Reith who laid down an ethos for an independent public service organization which gave equal consideration to all viewpoints. He was opposed to American-style free-for-all radio, whose goal was to attract the largest audiences and the greatest advertising revenue.

  He was born 20 July 1889 4.30pm Stonehaven, Scotland, during the Neptune Pluto in Gemini conjunction which spawned a good many media start ups. He had a 9th house Cancer Sun and a rigidly self-righteous Saturn in Leo. With a surprisingly rebellious 10th house Uranus in an explosive square to Mars in Cancer in his 8th. Not quite the chart I would have expected apart from the emphasis on 9th house communication and strong moral beliefs (his Presbyterianism).

30 thoughts on “BBC – a mega-shambles subsides for now

  1. I love the fact that The Ides of March, the UK budget day is the Mars back to where he stopped last year to exactly square Neptune. Pie crusts meant to be broken, pie in the sky. Nothing to cheer about at all. No energetic action to sort out the terrible mess for the masses.

  2. There is absolutely *No case* whatsoever for the continuation of the BBC licence fee in today’s world of universally receivable multiplicity of digital media at zero cost, or subscription, to the end user.

    Case in point, the young, the future of broadcasting hardly ever watch TV anymore, preferring tiktok etc. In a very large measure their abandonment of TV was due to TV abandoning them, chasing the soap opera market instead.

  3. The BBC spends an ordinate amount of time and money on football – mainly having talking heads yapping on and on and on about it on the so called ‘Breakfast News’, of course, all of the football actually worth watching is on Sky.
    Witness for example how much the BBC pushed and gushed about women’s football. On thing the BBC can surely do well is yapping. On and on and on and on. If there ever was a world award for yapping the BBC would win it hands down.

    Anyway, fools like the BBC, by their endless pandering and yapping have bigged up football to being the nearest thing England has got to a national religion/God. Hence football is *infinitely* bigger than the BBC. One confident prediction, non astrological, I can make is that Lineker will stay and the DG of the BBC , if not the BBC itself, will go.

    Mark my words.

  4. Hi ,I’m Jackie too . there’s 2 of us now writing in {age 36 black african origin]. Can’t stand Stanley Johnson either

  5. I appear to be “stuck on Pluto” as my post is going to point out that Pluto is going to square the BBC’s Lilith ( dark moon) in its 11th house next week, whilst transiting their BBC 8th. The BBC has some very important planets in Scorpio and is a very Pluto led company. It may have a Gemini on the Ascendent, yet Pluto is the leading planet. Especially as Pluto is in Cancer in their 1st house. A crab which will not let go. Last weekend was a complete farce. Because came out fighting, rather than allowing Lineker to be off air for a few weeks, as they will not allow themselves to be questioned (Sun in Scorpio – water and fixed- strong minded). Water doesn’t like being stopped, as its natural instinct is to run everywhere. The BBC’s Jupiter is conjunct Mercury in Scorpio too – this could be seen as being very controlling in entertainment . As Leo is the natural ruler for the 5th house. Jupiter in that house will want to be the ultimate ruler . Interestingly Uranus in their 10th depicts the airwaves and 11th house groups of people. Having a water sign Scorpio, with a sting in its tale, a Cancer crablike Pluto, along with Jupiter ( largest planet in the Universe) – lording over all other broadcasting /entertainment – you can see why the BBC thinks it does not have to explain. As they were the first Broadcasters in this country, I don’t think they have come to terms with being undercut by others. In fact Pluto and its accompanying Scorpio fixed planets, does not like it at all. As their Uranus in the 10th house is in another water sign Pisces – the BBC still wants to be “top” – spread its water everywhere. Scorpion’s sting their opponents and as Marjorie mentioned, the BBC is very unforgiving if an entertainer leaves them. There fixed controlling Scorpio Sun sees this as a type of ultimate betrayal and along with a Pisces 10th house ruler, there is a hidden desire of power over stars of the arts ( Neptune/Pisces 12th house) . The tenacious BBC is still chasing audiences and ratings because they see themselves still as the King of entertainment and media news in this country. Pluto and Lilith may have something to say about that in the next year or so. It will be interesting to see what an extremely water led controlling the airwaves Company handles this.

  6. The BBC is one of those odd British institutions like the Church of England that are a good deal more Scorpionic than it first appears. As an organisation it generally does not forgive and forget when crossed as many former stars who quit it for ITV found out. At the moment it seems to have completely lost its way in part because it no longer retains the default trust of so many viewers and listeners which once sustained it. Certainly it seems to have succumbed to the very un Reithian cult of celebrity where the presenters rather than the program has increasingly become the story. This mixed with its managements penchant for chasing Rainbows has alienated a lot of its former supporters. However, like most thing Scorpio it probably has great resilience and regenerative powers. A few helpful planetary transits might help in that regard but I don’t think things are likely to be changing for the better in the short term

    • Generally speaking, its programmes are now purely trash.

      Long gone are the days of ‘Educate, Inform and Entertain’, in that order.

      The rot well and truly set when Michael Grade took over. The inception of ‘EastEnders’ – he personally was responsible for soap opera contaminating BBC1 – more or less sums it up.

      • All it will take is a Tory PM with guts – admittedly a rather unlikely prospect, but think of Thatcher – to make the licence fee voluntary through digital subscription, and the BBC would be finished. Kaput. Gone. No more.

  7. The transit of Uranus to BBC Leo Neptune and Richard Sharp’s Aquarian Sun connects with the UK Neptune at 18 Scorpio. Uranus in Taurus creates a Fixed Grand Cross by transit. The Sharp/Johnson relationship Uranus is 18 Leo too. Curious that this ‘coincides’ with the Mars, Uranus, Nodes conjunction in Taurus of summer 2022.

    The BBC chart may also tune in to assertive, pugnacious, or sporty energies in the UK. It’s Mars at 10 Aquarius is conjunct the 1066 Mars, 8 Aquarius. And square the 1801 Mars at 11 Taurus. The 973 Edgar chart has Uranus at 14 Scorpio – reaching both BBC Mars and Neptune.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the 14 Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on 5th May brings more to the surface. It is SS 7 North series, which Brady says: ‘This series is not subtle, and can catch people off guard and confront them with their own very deep passion which may have been hidden for many years.’

    • That 18 degree fixed sign is cropping up on all manner of charts – await with interest to see whether late April/early May pops anything out of the woodwork.

      • Yes, for some personal as well as general interest reasons, me too!

        I remain fascinated with the 14-15 Scorpio Lunar Eclipse as well. I noticed it aligns with the fixed star Zuben Elgenubi in the constellation of Libra. This star represents the Southern Scale of Libra, known as the “insufficient price”. It is also the Southern Claw of the Scorpion from ancient times, and therefore considered troublesome. At best there is great courage, at worst vengeance, danger, poison and so on. Since all this piles onto the Edgar chart’s Uranus, I’m interested to see what might emerge.

  8. Odds and sods. The suggested knighthood for Stanley has actually been a good thing since it has tarnished BJ’s reputation still further.
    I don’t understand what Fiona Bruce was told to say. She’s not a robot and she could hardly have been told to applaud Stanley’s nomination – or was she??
    Commissioning editors are the problem right across the industry and most often have zero idea of what the audience actually want to see. I remember some years back when they were on one of their ‘we must attract younger viewer’ kicks and the rating for David Starkey’s Elizabeth 1 history shows came out top. V funny. They really don’t know what people want to see.
    The Ken Bruce problem would be a management failure, since I gather he would have stayed if asked. The calibre of management is not high and often there’s a turf war between the front-of-house presenters who get public acclaim and the backroom types who look down on what they regard as the ego-trippers. It’s always an uneasy balance.
    In ye olden days most newspapers were fairly neutral in their news reporting – but in recent times they have all started to tilt one way or the other which is worrisome – Guardian left, DM/Telegraph right. There should be a distinct difference between news and opinion and oh for the days when you could get middle-of-the-road unbiased opinion. There are a few but I skip over most Guardian opinion pieces and certainly the Telegraph ones.
    No one in the business ever thought of BorisJ as a journalist – a chancer and opportunist of the first order.

    • I don’t understand the Fiona Bruce news either. What was she told to say, and by whom? Anyway, a rapid glance at her planets – 25th April 1964 – shows natal Neptune 16 Scorpio, and Saturn 2 Pisces – opposing Uranus 6 Virgo, and widely Pluto 11 Virgo. The wonders of astrology!

      • Thanks for that, Jane. So Bruce is yet another 1964 birth about to have her second Saturn return.

        ‘Refuge’ released a statement today which said: ‘While we know the words were not Fiona’s own and were words she was legally obliged to read out, this does not lessen their impact and we cannot lose sight of that.‘

        So they too make a point of mentioning Bruce’s legal obligation.

    • What Fiona Bruce said in clarification: “Just so everyone knows what this is referring to, Stanley Johnson’s [ex] wife spoke to a journalist, Tom Bower, and she said that Stanley Johnson had broken her nose and that she’d ended up in hospital as a result. Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off.”

      Hmm, the producer in the gallery probably typed that to tell her to say – in an abundance of caution against a possible libel suit since he was never found guilty in a court of law. Media outlets do have to tread delicately which is often misunderstood. I always slap down an ‘all denied’ comment when allegations are mentioned.

      Stanley Johnson’s ex-wife, the late artist Charlotte Wahl, previously told Boris Johnson’s biographer, Tom Bower, that her former husband “hit me many times, over many years”.

      • Thanks Marjorie. I had a look at the last big scandal that beset the BBC in October of 2012 – the death of Savile and its aftermath and the attempts to prevent a critical documentary with serious allegations against Savile being broadcast, which the Beeb got horribly wrong. Neptune was then at 0 degrees of Pisces. That astrological point is now in conjunction with transit Saturn.

        • They are dire when it comes to admitting fault and will insist on trying to cover up horrors which usually ends up in a mess on the floor.
          I remember years ago a law suit that was allowed to go right down to the wire and only the night before the court hearing did the BBC admit they had screwed up. Arrogant and obstinate – as bad as the Vatican.

          • Ha. That will be Mars in Aquarius in the 9th. Ime, no other Mars placement is as stubborn or as bloody minded.

          • Apologies to any Mars in Aquarius types but I have had bad experiences with them in the past. Not easy to negotiate with – well they don’t, full stop.

    • Now Laura Kuensberg is in trouble too, on her Sunday political program, for bias against Linekar. It seems that some are missing the point.. This is not about what we think about Linekar, about football, or the boat people, or what the government is planning to do about asylum seekers, legal or otherwise. It is about the right, our right in this country, to free-speech. Does that look under threat after Pluto moves into Aquarius…or is all this part of the death throes of Pluto in Capricorn?

  9. I am in the curious position of being born on exactly the same day and year as Richard Sharp and his twin sister, who sits in the English Court of Appeal. As it happens I know or have come across many people born on exactly the same day and year, a surprising number of whom are interested in astrology. Amongst my fellow time twins are a Swedish actress, various politicians, some professional sportsmen, a rock guitarist, some housewives, a senior (Welsh-born) judge in New Zealand, and a murderer: he had lived with a Quaker family in the USA and murdered their daughter in a one-off drunken moment, an act for which he was deeply remorseful. In an astonishing act of generosity, the family forgave him. Many of us appear to be musical, precise with words, energetic, and have had a slightly difficult relationship with our mothers, perhaps shown in our Capricorn moon. Sharp is the only one of us I know who has made a fortune, in his case in merchant banking. A number of us had similar life events at the same age, as our Venus progressed round the chart. I would hesitate to say that the Jupiter conjunct Pluto makes us super-confident. As it is on the astrologer’s degree, it makes us interested in astrology, and in my case, as it is on the IC, it means I have both inherited money and property. While I think we can all stand up and speak reasonably well, I don’t think we are super-confident in the way that professional politicians, barristers and some top entrepreneurs are. We are a bit more measured.

    As Marjory said, Sharp has a number of juicy transits, all of which are affecting in their various ways my time twins and me. The most obvious manifestation for me of the Uranus transit by square of the sun was completely unexpectedly having to go into hospital, while I was on holiday in Italy last year, with a punctured colon. I knew something would happen, but I never saw that coming and had been in excellent health beforehand. I am now a bit apprehensive about its final transit later this year – and who would not be? As far as I know, my fellow time-twins have not had any spectacular ill effects from all these transits, at least in the way Sharp is getting them. I think with some of the bigger transits, you do not fully appreciate them until they are over. You can then begin to get a more objective view of what will have happened to you at the time.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Sharp has to leave the BBC. Incidentally, he is yet another example of the well known curse of Boris Johnson: anyone who gets involved with Boris professionally, as a friend, as a colleague, or as a loan-broker (in the case of Sharp) lives to regret it. Boris has an extraordinary knack for bringing harm, scandal, and dishonour to others. I put this down to Boris’s 7th house ruler, Mars, being in Gemini quincunx his moon in Scorpio and square Saturn. I doubt if Boris does this deliberately, but it just seems to be a feature of being Boris that he wrecks the lives of those who have to work with him or try to help. I shouldn’t think he cares.

  10. Oh, the joys of Mars in Gemini! It should come as no surprise that he’s in square to Neptune at this moment.

    I was listening to BBC journalist, Steven Nolan’s passionate defence of the BBC this weekend. He made an excellent case for impartiality in public broadcasting, warning gravely of a Fox News-type dystopian future. Ironically, that outcome would not be something that the left-leaning Linneker would want. Also, it’s interesting that these events have occurred following the revelations about Tucker Carlson’s twisting of the facts during the Jan 6 Insurrection, thereby pandering to what the viewers wanted to hear simply to increase viewing figures.

    It worries me greatly that the truth is in danger in these Neptune in Pisces times, thus I note that that pesky transit Neptune is squaring the BBC’s Asc/Desc currently, that it also opposes the BBC Moon in Virgo and is due to conjunct the Beeb’s South Node in Pisces with all the challenges that will bring to the organisation.

    The organisation is suffering from these transits. It has lost/leaked in recent years, many of its best journalists and broadcasters – heavyweight John Sopel, the excellent Emily Maitliss who left because she claimed she was not allowed to report the true devastation of Brexit on the U.K. or the veteran Simon Mayo, who was forced to work alongside the unpopular Jo Wiley which meant that the Beeb lost a raft of listeners and more recently veteran. Ken Bruce who had a massive following on Radio 2, replaced with the far less popular Vernon Kay – cue predictable loss of listeners following Ken Bruce on a different platform. Then there is the baffling decision by the BBC to not show David Attenborough’s program on climate change because they feared a right-wing backlash. The organisation should be fearless in its reporting of such global issues – this was a terrible misjudgment.

    So I rather see the Linneker row as symptomatic of a larger malaise at the BBC. The British have always had a kind of love/hate relationship with the organisation but to seee its demise would be a huge loss for the nation imho. The standard of journalism in its radio output alone is excellent and second to none.

    • Good summation of the current situation. I would add additionally the outright ageism that is taking place too in the organisation.

      Many of those ousted that you mention (especially the R2 DJ’s) were over 60 – also Paul O’Grady, Alex Lester, Vanessa Feltz. The Beeb are shamelessly chasing the youth vote and anyone not in that demographic can go hang. Similar has happened on 5Live with the disposal of Rhod Sharp, Alan Green and Peter Allen and ( I think) John Motson had issues too and Radio 3 has also been involved – with the loss of Tom Service and Ian Skelly.

      I am sure there are more names that I’ve missed and when you put them all together it is quite plain that an agenda has been conceived and then carried out.

      The only consolation that I can see from the Lineker debacle is that he is over 60 ………

    • Some other points regarding the Neptune effect on the BBC: Lack of clarity in what Freelance presenters are able to state in a personal capacity.

      Now Fiona Bruce has stepped down as a patron of DV charity, ‘Refuge’ over her comments on Question Time about Stanley Johnson’s abuse of his wife. Bruce has now stated:

      ‘I know survivors of domestic abuse have been distressed by what I was required to say on-air. For that, I am deeply sorry.

      ‘I cannot change what I was required to say, but I can apologise for the very real impact that I can see it has had.’

      She then goes on to point out that she was attempting to make a legal clarification and that she has received a backlash on Social Media over the incident. Mars in Gemini square Neptune, again.

      Finally, the role of Boris Johnson in all of this and the unarguable fact that wherever he goes, whatever he touches there are lies, obfuscation, smoke, mirrors and corruption. His attempt to get his father a knighthood was the last straw with the public. The country no longer trust him and this makes everyone slightly paranoid about what he’s up to and what he’s tampering with.

    • I agree with you VF. A larger malaise, and I was very unimpressed by the David Attenborough programme “cancellation” news. How you can have a “right-wing backlash” against climate change news I don’t know – Boris Johnson, for instance, seemed very keen on net zero initiatives, and people appear to have mixed views across the political spectrum. Looking at that Mars square Neptune I see that tr Mercury in Pisces is about to join in the fun this week. More fog to come.

  11. Mars is in Gemini right now and also in the coming new year’s solar return on the 20/03. This will be a year of strong verbal battles, online, on TV and everywhere else. I feel this is just the beginning.

  12. I think it is always important to remember what happened in the 1930s and how a country in which social democracy was popular became the centre of fascism. When I was young some people talked as though there was some character defect in the Germans that allowed this to happen. Now it is easier to see how any country can move to the far right. So it is important we all speak truth to power. Why is a crisp seller less important than someone else?

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