You might not think that now was the silly season in politics. With the omicron variant causing so many problems for public services and the economy, you might think there was plenty to keep MPs busy. It would seem not.
The latest call from a backbench MP for the BBC to reinstate God Save The Queen on BBC One each evening has given some journalists a little badly needed fun.
To be fair, the call probably has more to do with patriotism and marking the 70th anniversary of HM The Queen’s accession to the throne than any sinister attempt to interfere with broadcasting.
There will, rightly, be plenty of discussion over how this can and should be done.
But the idea of playing God Save The Queen each evening suggests a lack of understanding of modern broadcasting.
The tradition was, of course, a product of its time. It was customary once to conclude public meetings and performances with the National Anthem.
It seemed only natural that broadcasting should follow this custom. But should it return to BBC One?
Well by the 1980s, it was somewhere between an anachronism, an eccentricity and a BBC custom.
RELATED ARTICLE: a BBC One closedown from September 1984.
Many ITV regions stopped playing the National Anthem long before 24-hour television – LWT was the only big company to conclude the evening in this way by the 1980s.
RELATED ARTICLE: an LWT closedown from June 1983.
BBC Two and Channel 4, of course, never played the National Anthem.
The BBC dropped it in 1997 for a simple reason – BBC One no longer closed down for the night.
We have often discussed how the handover to the News Channel in the early hours could be improved.
The idea of reintroducing the National Anthem in this context is barely worthy of serious consideration.
But if, one day, BBC One should stop showing the News Channel overnight, would it be fair for the tradition to return?
PICTURED: BBC One ident (1991 - 1997). COPYRIGHT: BBC.
In my humble opinion, if Radio 4 can play the National Anthem before handing over to the World Service overnight, then so can BBC One. It shows respect, and lets you know when to go to bed.