Mys­tery grows over ‘Jewish’ TV blog­ger

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - By alex KaS­riel

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

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