Daily Mail

Bankruptcy battle looms for ex-BBC executive


■ BBC Two historical satire The Witchfinde­r, starring Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper, has been axed after failing to set viewers alight. Comedian Key hopes to rekindle the spirit of the Gary Lineker rebellion. ‘Relying on other comedians to down tools till this is fixed,’ he says.

HE’S pulled off the sort of things that most of us can only dream of, whether it’ s checking into the sumptuous Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel and racking up a room service bill for £25,000, or shelling out £3 million for Piers Court, the country house where Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited.

But those glory days must now seem a distant memory for former BBC executive Jason Blain. For I can reveal that the Scot, 52, has been named as debtor in a bankruptcy petition at the High Court.

This follows a bleak December during which Piers Court was sold at auction, at the insistence of Hoare’s Bank, which had lent one of Blain’s companies £2.1 million — only for the company to default on repayment.

The house went for just over the £3 million which Blain had paid for it — despite it being occupied by two friends, who, by agreement with Blain, had become sitting tenants for just £5-a-week rent.

Hoare’s declines to comment, but Companies House records state that Winston’s House Ltd — of which Blain is a director — still owes the bank money, notwithsta­nding the sale of Piers Court.

Blain, previously BBC Worldwide’s director of business, could not be reached for comment.

He is named as a director of no fewer than 26 companies, four of which — including Winston’s House — are months overdue in filing their accounts.

His difficulti­es date back to 2020 when he booked into the Mandarin Oriental in London’s Knightsbri­dge, opting for its £4,725-a-night Penthouse Suite, which boasts three bedrooms and bathrooms, its own terrace and, of course, private butler service.

Intending to luxuriate there for just six nights, Blain ended up staying for eight months, at the end of which his tab came to £1.1 million — boosted by £30,000 fees for valet parking, £8,600 for spa treatments and his room service charges.

A bill that some football pundits might struggle with…

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