A Letter to his Agent
Just to give you the final rundown on the BBC ‘n’ jazz situation.
1. The Head of Music at radio 3 is deeply offended by what I have written about his so-called jazz policy.
2. I have been deeply offended by his so-called jazz policy.
3. We are so deeply offended by each other that nothing short of a duel could possibly settle the matter.
4. His secretary has rung my secretary to challenge me to a duel.
5. I have no secretary.
6. Using an assumed voice (“Hello – Miles Kington’s disabled secretary here”) I have offered to let him fight my agent.
7. He has refused to fight you and wants to fight me.
8. I have agreed to this, reluctantly, as I am a very busy man and my death would postpone several urgent projects beyond their deadline.
9. We have agreed to use sabres as a weapon.
10. There sees to be a hitch his end on this one, as his programme budget does not cover sabres, and he will have to get special clearance from John Birt at the head of BBC to hire one. Even if he does, he will have to then use producer choice to get the best possible offer on temporary sabre use, which means going round all the sabre-suppliers to the BBC for tenders, in order to get the cheapest deal.
11. This process will involve three staff full-time for weeks and weeks, thus costing far more than just going out and buying a sabre.
12. I have begun to lose my patience on this one and I have accused the BBC of having a crazy sabre policy.
13. Much to my surprise, I have now been rung up by the Head Of Swordplay, BBC TV, who is incensed by my criticism of BBC sabre policy and has challenged me to a duel.
14. I have discovered from secret sources that the Head of Music, Radio 3, and the Head Of Swordplay, BBC TV, do not know each other by sight, and it might be possible for me to arrange a duel at which they fight each other, each under the impression that they are fighting Miles Kington.
15. I will let you know if there are any more developments.