The BBC's Newsnight programme today put its recent troubles behind it to become the first news broadcaster to break the story that a former Tory cabinet member of the Thatcher era had sensationally resigned as director general of the BBC.
'Many people will be shocked to learn that a figure such as Lord McAlpine could have been involved in something as sinister as being director general of the BBC, but it's all true,' insisted Jeremy Paxman. 'We knew this man was up to something, and after a few wrong turns we've finally been able to expose him for what he is. What he got away with at that organisation was sickening.'
Despite his previously untarnished reputation, Lord McAlpine was exposed by Newsnight as a shambling bureaucrat who inexplicably rose to a position of authority, before exploiting his newfound power to set out on a seven-week campaign of terror to criminally mismanage a troubled and vulnerable corporation, leaving it emotionally scarred for life.
Lord McAlpine today issued a strongly-worded statement denying the allegations, insisting that he had only ever visited Television Centre once and would never dream of doing anything as morally abhorrent as becoming director general of the BBC. 'His wife and children are absolutely devastated by these rumours,' said McAlpine's solicitor. 'How can they face anyone with people thinking he's some kind of incompetent media executive? They preferred it when people thought he was a kiddie fiddler.'
Newsnight later withdrew the story after someone showed its reporters a picture of a man called George Entwhistle. Mr Entwhistle is now being investigated by Newsnight for allegations of historic child abuse.