A US-style Nightly chat show wasn’t a bad idea. Picking the 10pm slot was

Peter Preston
Dermot O’Leary presented a very awkward return of The Nightly Show after the Westminster attack. Photograph: Kieron McCarron/Rex

Silver linings? Only, perhaps, that the hapless Nightly Show must soon be put out of its misery. Its ratings have already sunk below the old News at Ten level.

When there is compelling news – as there was last week – the entertainment series gets shunted into outer space. And the return a day later seemed uneasy, as Dermot O’Leary offered a relentlessly crafted panegyric to London and then turned gratefully to Ant and Dec.

News isn’t light entertainment, a tap that can be turned off or on. It’s a separate service. You can’t begin constructing league tables of awful events that rejig the schedules over and over again. No one minds ITV trying to concoct a US-style daily chat show. But not – bong! – at 10pm, where you need to find out what’s going on.

Board games at the BBC

Don’t treat the membership of the new BBC executive board as some kind of Paddy Power guide to the next DG when Tony Hall retires. Charlotte Moore, head of TV content, James Harding, head of news, and James Purnell, head of radio, are still the three to beat. You couldn’t, it seems, choose one for pole position without pre-empting a decision for the whole board. Therefore they all wait in the lobby of ambition. But no one, looking at the two aspiring BBC executives who did make the unitary jump – Anne Bulford, deputy DG, and Tim Davie, head of BBC Worldwide – should think they’ve got some special advantage. This is a race that can’t be won early.

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