Mystery grows over ‘Jewish’ TV blogger
an anonYMous, avowedly Jewish blogger whose daily lampooning of the tV industry has intrigued the media village logged off “for the last time” this week — leaving speculation as to the author’s true identity.
Just as Belle Du Jour’s allegedly Jewish author exposed the seedy world of the high-class call-girl, The Secret Blog of a TV Controller (Aged 33 and ¾) — written as the supposed diary of real-life BBC3 controller Danny Cohen — lifted the lid on the “unaccountable, self-obsessed egomaniacs” who run British television.
It makes frequent satirical references to the controller’s Jewish identity: in one post, “ambush of the Jewish Mother”, his mother arrives at his office, “not a good look for my media brand”. Former BBC3 controller stuart Murphy accused the blog of antisemitism, but the author told The Observer last week: “I’m a Jew myself so calling me antisemitic is puzzling.”
the real Danny Cohen has largely avoided comment, but did tell The Guardian: “I try to ignore it. I don’t think it’s someone who knows me well at all.”
posts have included the programme idea: “We take a gang of British slags and transport them to the high-society world of 1915 paris to see how they get on. Has anyone done an accessible bourgeoisie period-based class-swap format before?”
the blog has generated a mixed reaction within the industry. “I still don’t know who wrote it,” said media journalist Maggie Brown. “I’m a bit sad it’s stopped as I enjoyed reading it. Media people take themselves too seriously.”
Jane Lush, former controller of entertainment commissioning at the BBC, said it would be boring “if you don’t know all the characters concerned”.
Evening Standard media diarist Gideon spanier said there had been “wild speculation” over the author. “some say it was two people, one at Channel 4, where Danny Cohen used to work, and one at an independent tV company. Whoever was involved has obviously been privy to meetings of channel controllers and commissioning editors as it’s very well-informed.”
Former talkback tV editorial director Daisy Goodwin does feel the blog was antisemitic: “anyone who knows Danny would not think he was any of the things the blog suggests.”
on tuesday, the blog credited its author as Dominic Vallely, a former BBC executive. But it may have been a bluff.
It’s not me: BBC3’s Danny Cohen