BBC 'risks impartiality' with programme on royals


The BBC is facing criticism after commissioning a documentary about the Royal family from a once vocal critic of the monarchy, the Telegraph reports.

Amol Rajan, a presenter on Radio 4's The Today Programme will write and present a two-part series telling "the definitive story of one of the most dramatic periods in royal history for a generation".

But royal commentators have expressed concern over past comments by Mr Rajan.

In a 2012 column for the Independent, Mr Rajan wrote: "I have absolutely nothing against Prince Harry, or Prince William, or Catherine Middleton, or the Queen. Other royals, particularly Prince Philip and the scientifically illiterate Prince Charles, who champions policies that would lead to the murder by starvation of millions of Africans, I dislike.

"When it comes to our absurd monarchy, journalists are so bamboozled by aristocratic wealth that they can only portray a confected picture to their audience.

"Mrs Wales – spare us from the 'Duchess of Cambridge' – is a beautiful lady, and does noble work. But like the rest of us she is prone to bad moods and bad breath, and doesn't look her best on a hangover. You wouldn't know that from media coverage of her. What you get is an idol, not a person."

Amol Rajan
Amol Rajan (John Phillips via Getty Images)

Dickie Arbiter, who was previously the Queen's press secretary, said: "Unfortunately reporting at the BBC seems to have fallen by the wayside – now it's all about opinion. Has Amol Rajan changed his opinion since the Indie?"

Joe Little, from Majesty magazine, said: "Amol Rajan's piece in the Independent, written during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, left readers in no doubt about his anti-monarchist stance. Nine years on, and now at the beleaguered BBC, it will be interesting to see if those sentiments prevail.

"I hope that as a presenter his approach will be more moderate and balanced to suit the institution that pays his salary."