Motormouth MP lashes out at BBC F1 deal

By Andy Darley

CalendarFriday, March 21st, 2008

 
 

Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay has thrown a bucket of cold water on the BBC’s celebrations at regaining the rights to show Formula One by claiming it wasn’t a real sport and should be on commercial TV.

The Thurrock politician, listed on theyworkforyou.com as one of the country’s most talkative MPs, made his bid for the headlines during the weekly business questions in the House of Commons after the announcement.

He is quoted on BBC Online as saying the licence fee should be spent on “real sports rather than the wealthy industry of Formula One”.

And he criticised the BBC news coverage of the decision for not being sufficiently critical of how much it would cost: “In bulletin after bulletin on the BBC, they went on about Formula One being won by the BBC.

“The question they didn’t ask or probe the management was how much the licence-payer is going to have to pay for something which could be provided, and should be provided, on commercial television.”

Quite why he thought the natural home of F1 is commercial TV was never explained.

Responding, Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman said she would raise the issue with culture secretary Andy Burnham, adding “I’m sure that the top brass of the BBC will have heard what he said, loud and clear”.

Heard it and, with luck, ignored it.

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