Lord Patten says BBC Scotland making 150 staff redundant and maybe killing off River City is "not the end of the world".
Patten’s own job as chairman of the BBC Trust (£110,000 plus expenses for three to four days a week) is not one of the posts under threat. As plain Chris Patten he once lost three jobs on one day – as MP for Bath, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and chairman of the Conservative Party in charge of the 1992 election campaign.
But it wasn’t the end of the world. He was soon appointed governor of Hong Kong. Patten was later made a UK European commissioner. Then he was given the BBC job.
It is this kind of resilience that redundant BBC Scotland folk will need. Those with decent contacts should network now to get themselves appointed to some well-paid post.
For those who don’t have friends in high places, the main thing is to be positive. They will find the local buroo doesn’t have many broadcasting jobs. But Glasgow is turning into Hollywood. Hang about George Square and you’re bound to bump into Brad Pitt or Halle Berry looking for an assistant producer or camera person.
The traditional option is to go to London where the jobs are. Tell the wife and weans that being uprooted is not the end of the world. There will be plenty of Scottish actors, technicians and scriptwriters down there to hang about with, especially if Lord Patten’s assurances about the future of River City come to nothing.
Some may prefer to look for another career: There’s always PR to fall back on. Or catering. After all, Govan is crying out for a Michelin-star restaurant.
It’s not the end of the world if your CV is a bit patchy. Lord Patten’s political highlight was introducing the poll tax when he was Margaret Thatcher’s environment secretary. It was a disaster but hasn’t held him back.
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