Host: Len Tingle
Reviewer: Andrew White
AnEvening with Greg Dyke. The former Director-General of the BBC. In Doncaster. Well, even five years ago, this wouldn’t have seemed possible. Part of the vision for the new performance venue in the town, called Cast; if this is a sign of the quality and diversity of things to come, then it is most promising.
Held in one of the smaller performance rooms upstairs in Cast, the audience of around 40 came to hear one of the true greats of British broadcasting; although most to be fair, came to see Greg in his capacity as the current Chairman of The Football Association.
The evening was split in two parts, with the first taken by the BBC’s Political Editor for Yorkshire, Len Tingle, guiding Greg through his life, in which we discovered his less-than-promising education record in his home town of Hayes in Middlesex. A very brief job as a Marks &Spencer trainee manager came before a successful stint as a trainee reporter, rising to chief reporter.
Greg moved to the University of York as a mature student, graduating with a BA in Politics, soon after beginning his long career in television at London Weekend Television. The 66 year old recounted his hilarious months as the Programme Director at the failing breakfast franchisee TV-am, and the time when Roland Rat, the puppet who helped saved the station, asked for his own office…
Moving through his period as Director-General of the BBC and the events which led to his untimely departure in light of the Hutton Report made for interesting listening, as did his explanation of the now famous cut-throat gesture during the 2014 World Cup draw.
In the second part of the evening, Len asked questions to Greg given by the audience, and he provided answers which were always telling, full and elaborate.Throughout the evening, Greg’s sense of humour and his passion for journalism, football and broadcasting shone through.
In all, An Evening with Greg Dyke was a fascinating insight into a man who has shaped both British broadcasting and football. After nearly 2 ½ hours, we were left under no illusion as to why that has been the case.
Reviewed on: 25th January 2014