Not a megastar. Not an A list UK celeb. But kind of always there. Grafting away. And in my opinion delivering some of the Beeb’s higher quality programmes. Lakeland Walks and the more recent Railway Walks spring to mind. If you’re an avid hillwalker – always out and about with your waterproofs and your mountain boots – these programmes are an invaluable source of ideas and inspiration. And if you’re a hillwalker who’s strapped for cash these shows offer the opportunity to enjoy the pastime vicariously from the comfort of your own armchair.
Julia also co-presented the Beeb’s Watchdog, a show that tracks down and grills wrong doers – particularly of the corporate kind – and gives a voice to the little man when he has been wronged.
Alas Julia disappeared from Watchdog a few weeks ago amid reports that a friend of hers in the air industry had been bunging extra air miles onto Julia’s account (either with or without her consent) as a way of doing “an old pal a favour”.
Or so rumour has it.
I don’t know the ins and outs of it and don’t rightly care. Julia immediately withdrew from Watchdog and is staying off the show until she has cleared her name.
Personally I reckon she’s innocent. Anybody who champions Wainwright has got to be a decent honest person in my opinion. Us hillwalkers have got to stick together (unless we’re actually hillwalking in which case a bit of solitude is the unstated prerequisite). She’s also a brunette. A fact sure to win my unswerving loyalty. And she has a great voice. Sort of smoky and chocolaty at the same time. That proves her innocence. No further evidence is needed.
More importantly though she’s a darn sight better looking than her Watchdog co-presenter, Nicky Campbell – a man who has no right to look so damned smug and constantly superior after presenting the God awful Wheel Of Fortune on TV in the previous century.
But I’m digressing.
My point is this: do we expect our TV presenters to be totally squeaky clean all of the time? Absolutely 100% above board and bangs to rights?
Simple logic dictates that we should but – even though I don’t doubt Julia’s innocence in this case – wouldn’t we all have accepted a few extra air miles from a friend if we had one in the commercial flight industry? Wouldn’t we accept a favour from a friend whatever industry they work in? A discount on a pine dining table? Some hardback books at cost? A few pennies off a burger (hold the mayo)?
I mean a few air miles are hardly on the same par as Angus Deayton’s much publicized coke fuelled liaisons with some of London’s finest scarlet women a decade or so ago. Or Richard Bacon’s scarlet-women-less coke fuelled adventures a year or two before that.
And it’s not like Julia is a politician, wielding power enough to change the lives of every man, woman and child in the country. Does her character need to be as pure as a saint, impervious to all attempts of bribery and corruption?
Like our actual politician’s are that anyway...
It seems to be a lot of fuss over nothing. Or am I just being biased simply because I like Julia? I admit if it was Campbell accepting a “free gratuity” from the Bell’s Whisky company I’d be calling for his head on a pole. But who wouldn’t want to see that period?
So apologies for the nature of this post once again. This post has no point other than to register my demand with the BBC that Julia Bradbury be reinstated immediately to augment my television viewing pleasure.
And to demand that Nicky Campbell’s skull be surmounted on a brass topped spike and displayed over the gatehouse of Warwick Castle (I can’t afford the train fare to see it at the Tower Of London).
To be honest, part of me thinks that this air miles baloney is just a smokescreen created by Campbell and his other Watchdog cronies anyway and Julia is currently being held hostage in the boot of Campbell’s car, her smoky, chocolaty voice brutally muffled by Campbell’s sweat stained sporran.
Scotland Yard should be informed immediately. Interpol should be alerted. A cell should be swept clean (or unclean) at Guantanamo Bay ready for Campbell’s imminent arrival.
I pay my TV license fee for emergencies of this kind and I expect to be obeyed!