The Government let it be known today that Peter Bazalgette will step down next year after just one term as chair of Arts Council England. Having secured the job through personal connections with the former Hulture (now Health) Secretary Jeremy Qant, Bazza will be neither moped nor missed. He will leave next January.
A glass of Lidl bubbly might be raised at English National Opera, where the present financial crisis began under his chairmanship and which he abandoned for a better job as soon as he could. Although recusing himself from ACE discussions about punitive measures against ENO, Bazza helped stoke hostility towards the company he jettisoned.
Before joining arts boards, Bazza was the man who brought Big Brother to British screens, lowering the public tone more effectively than anyone bar Rupert Murdoch.
Bye, Bazza. It’s been bad, all bad. And a bad example for public service. Go now, while people are still saying nice things.