The BBC’s first director-general, Scot, Lord Reith, was such a huge influence on the Corporation, his values – including “to inform, educate and entertain” – have pretty much become articles of faith. But that solid, Reithian model of the BBC belies a more complex man, as outlined by his daughter in a book, to be launched in London tomorrow.
‘My Father – Reith of the BBC’, by Marista Reith and published by Edinburgh-based St Andrew Press, promises to reveal a much more volcanic figure at the heart of the BBC’s early years.
Elizabeth Grice, in The Daily Telegraph, previews it, saying: “It was a surprise and a delight, one of the best family memoirs I have read – honest, funny, sharp, well-written but never bitter – although a person other than Marista would have had plenty to be bitter about.”
She is joined by former director-general, Greg Dyke, who adds: