Tony Blackburn, who was dismissed from the BBC less than a year ago, is set to return to Radio 2 at the start of the new year.
If you're a fan of Blackburn it's probably a good idea to stop reading now as we are not.
The circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the 73-year-old has-been are bizarre in the extreme. You can read about them in our earlier article.
Briefly, for the benefit of any newcomers, Blackburn was named in the Dame Janet Smith Review as having previously been interviewed in relation to the death of troubled teen Claire McAlpine.
When interviewed by Dame Janet, Blackburn denied any knowledge that a complaint had been made against him by Claire McAlpine's mother, Vera. However, documentary evidence from the early 1970s shows that he was interviewed by BBC bosses in relation to Mrs McAlpine's complaint.
A year or so later he was further interviewed about Mrs McAlpine's complaint by Sir Brian Neill QC, who was leading a BBC inquiry into the payola scandal. It must be stressed that there were no findings of impropriety on the part of Blackburn.
Dame Janet Smith, quite reasonably, came to the conclusion that the documentary evidence of the time was more reliable than Blackburn's memory. The BBC dismissed Blackburn on the basis that his evidence to the Dame Janet Smith Review had fallen short of the standard expected.
Blackburn was furious at the time and threatened legal action against the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, who had taken the dismissal decision.
Skip forward eight months and it appears all is forgiven. Tony Blackburn clearly isn't all that bad and the BBC clearly aren't a bunch of bastards for sacking him.
Blackburn clearly has no principles whatsoever. He is prepared to go back to the BBC, despite having threatened legal action and claiming he was made a scapegoat. The BBC clearly has no principles either, as it has decided to take back Blackburn after claiming his evidence to Dame Janet Smith was substandard..
The whole thing stinks to high heaven of BBC sleaze, incompetence and cover-up.
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