THE outgoing BBC boss has said it must move out of London – and insisted the Beeb isn’t “the woke corporation”.
Lord Hall thinks 70 per cent of the budget should be channelled into regional outposts to better connect with all licence payers.
He insisted the BBC isn’t “woke” after it became embroiled in a row over axing the lyrics of Rule Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms.
Amid accusations the corporation is out of touch with its audience Lord Hall said he and his successor Tim Davie jointly agreed on the move to keep the numbers just orchestral.
He told the Telegraph the BBC shouldn’t “pander” to any pressures from groups and must remain the “calm centre”.
The outgoing boss said: “You don’t want people who all think alike. So you need diverse voices around the table; that could be diverse because you’ve got black, Asian, minority voices around the table, that’s important.
“I’ve got a thing myself about social diversity. And the second thing I think is really important is that we can and should be more out of London.
“We’re 50 per cent in London, and 50 per cent out of London, in spend and people. I think we can do much better than that. I think we can get to 70 per cent out of London.”
He added: “What we’ve learned from Covid is that you don’t need as many buildings as you think, therefore you can be more diverse in where you centre people.
“I think we can do a big push to get more out of London, and that changes the dynamic of the discussions you have and therefore – I hate using the word relevance, but I will do – your relevance to the people that are paying for you.”
Last week the BBC announced it wouldn’t show the singing of Last Night of the Proms over fears over its links to the British Empire.
Beeb bosses instead announced they would feature — but only as orchestral versions amid fears of a backlash due to lyrical connotations about the British Empire.
Over 30,000 Brits have now called for the lyrics to be reinstated, signing a petition which hopes to reach 15,000 signatures.
The annual Royal Albert Hall concert, beamed around the world, traditionally ends with the flag-waving anthems.
But organisers were said to be concerned about their links to the British Empire, and lyrics including: “Britons never will be slaves.”
Boris Johnson blasted the “cringing embarrassment” over Britain’s history and demanded the nation stop its “culture of wetness” after the BBC banned the words to Rule Britannia.
He said: “I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general fight of self-recrimination and wetness, I wanted to get that off my chest.”