Taking Stock – Accountant turns to face the camera.

BBC accountants are forever being blamed for all that is wrong with the corporation by those who appear in front of the camera. But not all are held in such low regard. Take veteran newsreader Robert Dougall who sadly died before Christmas. A newsreader for almost 40 years – and one of the most frequently seen faces on television for 17 of them – it is easy to forget that he actually joined the BBC as an accountant. He started out with Deloittes after the war. But it was while preparing an audit at the BBC aged 19 that he decided to join the purchasing department. He didn’t stay long and his clear voice soon ensured his move from the back office to in front of the camera. BBC accountants hampering the freedom of the ‘creatives’? Not so. Long ago they were one and the same.

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