Former BBC DG, Alasdair Milne, dies

THE former director-general of the BBC, Alasdair Milne, has died, it is being widely reported.

Says the BBC, Milne – who was a Controller of BBC Scotland for four years from 1968 – was aged 82.

Born in India to Scots parents, his spell as director-general saw him clash with Margaret Thatcher’s Tory Government on several occasions.

He was effectively deposed in 1987.

Reports The Guardian’s obituary of him: “The final clash was set off by The Secret Society, a BBC Scotland series which was not transmitted until after Milne’s departure.

“It was supposed to reveal how on the one hand individual privacy was being eroded, while on the other hand government departments were exercising ever greater secrecy.

“While the series was still in preparation, Special Branch raided the BBC’s Glasgow studios and carried off tins of film.

“These were for an episode intended to blow the whistle on a satellite warning system, Zircon, being quietly developed by the Ministry of Defence. Milne had already viewed rough-cuts of the series and scrubbed this episode. It made no difference. His enemies had all they needed.”