Friday, March 4

BBC Blow

The knives were out at the Brussels dinner hosted by the BBC on Tuesday night. Newish director-general Mark Thompson threw a bash for MEPs, commissioners and eurocrats on a getting-to-know-you tour shortly after a report revealed gaps in the BBC's EU coverage.

The cosy atmosphere was ruined by Nigel Farage of the eurosceptic UK Independence party, who challenged Thompson on the Beeb's europhilia. "Thompson was floundering and seemed to think that Robert Kilroy-Silk was the leader of Ukip," says Observer's man getting the coats.

Not only has the permatanned Smooth-as-Silk left Ukip to form Veritas but the real leader, Roger Knapman, was there in person.

Still, he also had a knowledge gap. Another guest overheard Knapman asking regional policy commissioner Danuta Hubner what she did for a living, oblivious as to her identity.

Source: Financial Times, Thursday, March 3 2005

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