When Lulu the elephant decided to use the squeaky-clean Blue Peter set as a makeshift lavatory, the bosses at the BBC probably thought things couldn’t get much worse.
Nowadays, the people at the top probably look upon that fateful day in 1969 wistfully, longing for the time when washing animal waste from the studio floor was its biggest worry.
They know all too well no shovel on earth could dig the BBC out of its current crisis.
Not only is the corporation still grappling with the ongoing scandal of Operation Yewtree now it has hit the headlines for awarding huge payouts to outgoing staff, seemingly disregarding any catastrophic failings during their time in post.
If only all employers were like the Beeb. Imagine the final meeting; “You’re so bad at your job you’ve been advised to resign before we sack you, but here’s £100,000 for that villa in St Tropez your missus had her eye on.”
Surely there is no time like the present time to question whether we really need a public service broadcaster.
The BBC is like a wounded animal which needs putting out of its misery.
For far too long we have been too sentimental about the corporation, pacified by the Antiques Roadshow in post-Sunday roast states on our living room settees.
Its programme bosses and journalists are like the majority of politicians – educated and articulate yet completely out-of-touch with the ordinary people of Britain. You don’t have to be devoid of a personality here, but it helps.
If the Cabinet is run by ‘arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’, the Beeb is run by politically correct middle-aged men who wear cargo pants and blazers and sip ethical coffee from an eco-friendly cup.
There are occasional moments of delight – and radio stations are exempt from my criticism now they’re a Chris Moyles-free zone – but are they worth nearly £150 a year?
And how much is spent on over-generous pay packets for incompetent employees?
Bosses will argue big salaries and bonuses are needed to attract the best – and maybe they’ve got a point.
Last week we were given The Wonder of Dogs. If that’s the best, imagine the horror of the second-rate.