I was in White City earlier this week and took a stroll by the building previously known as BBC Television Centre. With the vacant office lights off and the complex’s main entrance barricaded shut, I was put in mind of the occasion I visited the disused ship manufacturing district in Belfast City (referred to by the Belfast tourist board as The Titanic Quarter). It was a feeling of both reverence and regret. That I’d turned up late to a party that was already long over.
Change, as George Bernard Shaw believed, is the catalyst for progress, and to keep up with the rapidly changing media marketplace the BBC has had to roll up its sleeves and change with it. At least that’s what the Corporation’s PR material tells me. But… still… like, come on, it’s Television Centre, the place I had dreamed of one day working. It’s like somebody is systematically dismantling everything I loved and aspired towards as a teenager- this process was initiated, of course, in 1999 when George Lucas ruined Star Wars by making The Phantom Menace. With TVC gone, it’s official, nothing is out of bounds. What next then? Mass evictions for the Muppets of Sesame Street? Scoobie Doo being put down? Another unnecessary Indiana Jones movie? Disappointment flavored ice-cream?