Little charity in the Beeb's taste in ties

Things are tough at the BBC. Not only has trust in 'Auntie' plummeted to a level at which even Captain Nemo would feel under pressure, but it appears director general Mark Thompson has been ordered to tighten the purse strings.

All set to appear on air for a recent interview, Thompson realised that, sans tie, he would not live up to the Beeb's dapper standards. Handily, head of press Donald Steel keeps a spare box of formal on-air garb for just such an occasion.

Unfortunately, Thompson noticed the price-tag and complained that £24.99 'was a lot for a tie'.

No doubt Steel felt like questioning Thompson's parsimonious nature, given his boss earns more than £600,000 a year. Instead, Steel was able to report that he had shrewdly purchased three for the price of two at Moss Bros.

Diary can only assume that Thompson, still reeling from the rigged charity phone-ins scandal, diverted the money saved into the kitty marked 'putting the charity back into charity phone-ins'.

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