Is the apparently impartial BBC getting too close to Gary Barlow?
The BBC has come under fire again for its over-reliance on the talents of Gary Barlow, who hosted a 'Big Ben Bash' in the run up to midnight on New Year's Eve.
Gary Barlow Saw In The New Year on the BBC
The show, which also continued for twenty minutes after midnight, saw Barlow perform live at Central Hall in Westminster. Bizarrely, he performed a duet with his younger self, singing along with a video from 1993.
Viewers criticized the BBC's decision to dedicate over an hour of its New Year's Eve footage to Gary Barlow, with one Twitter user writing, "I love Gary Barlow but is there any day when he's not on the telly? The BBC is being renamed the GBC!"
Another said: "Does anybody remember when Gary Barlow was a has been and not on the telly every time the BBC had a gap to fill? Great days."
A statement from the BBC said: "It is not unusual for an artist of Gary Barlow's stature and broad appeal to appear on a range of programmes that reach different audiences, and is entirely in keeping with our editorial guidelines."
Gary Barlow: A National Treasure?
The criticism comes less than a month after the BBC was criticised for scheduling a so-called 'Gary Barlow Day,' before scaling back the celebrations. The original plan was for Barlow to appear on Ken Bruce and Steve Wright's radio shows, as well as conducting a Q&A on the Radio 2 site and performing from the BBC Radio Theatre.
However, after criticism, the BBC removed references to Barlow being a "bona fide national treasure" on its website and dropped his performance on Wright's show as well as the Q&A.