Monday, July 30, 2007

The Beatles "too tatty for world"

Now, proving our cutting-edge credentials, a story from forty years ago: The Beatles' much-praised appearance on the first satellite show didn't go down well - many claiming it was a slight to our nation to be represented by a pop group:

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a BBC official, asked to assess viewer reaction, wrote in a memo: "There was little specific comment on the separate parts of the programme apart from a volume of angry protests at the choice of The Beatles as one of the UK's contributions."

The memo records several comments, including: "This country has produced something more meritorious and noteworthy than The Beatles (much as I admire them)"; "We did not do ourselves justice"; "Have we nothing better to offer? Surely this isn't the image of what we are like. What a dreadful impression they must have given the rest of the world"; "We flaunted The Beatles as the highlight of British culture, no wonder we have lost our image in the eyes of the world"; "After all the culture etc shown by the other countries, The Beatles were the absolute dregs (incidentally I am a Beatles fan), no wonder people think thing we are going to the dogs!"

Still, at least it didn't have Ricky Gervais trying to fill a gap in proceedings with something, anything.

The BBC didn't tell the band that most of the country hated them - instead, it told a little white lie to Brian Epstein. Mark Thompson has just apologised for misleading the Beatles.

[Thanks to Jim McCabe for the link]