22 JANUARY 1972, Page 18

Brandreth's BBC

Sir: I must congratulate you for printing that splendid and subtle attack on the BBC by Gylel Brandreth It imitated those selfrighteous people who think that the BBC con do no wrong, so skilfully, that, if it hadn't been deliberately overdone to betray his witty design, I might actually have mistaken it for a genuine defence by a genuine idiot!

In fact, didn't it show itself to be unmistakably tongue-in-cheek more often than was really necessary? The game was given away clearly enough by putting before " political and permissive bias," the word " supposed " — an expression even the most naive and staunch of BBC supporters wouldn't have dared use! This proof of the writer's wicked subterfuge couldn't have been missed by the most careless of readers, so why did he give us an even greater absurdity as a clue later on? That bit: "all complaints are dealt with quite satisfactorily." I suppose a few very stupid readers might only have seen the joke then, but it was hardly worth it.

The joke was definitely overstressed again when he mentioned Taihback: "where members of the public can hurt abuse at individual programme-makers who sit defending themselves with wan smiles on tired faces!" (italics mine). That bit of satire was much too heavy-handled; with this kind of thing you must keep a delicate balance, or you stray, like this, and produce ridiculous fantasy, which isn't funny at all.

But these are carping criticisms. The rest was beautifully done.

A. Parkes 61 Copse Road, Netherton, Dudley, Worcs.