BBC Scotland is understood to have sought help in uncovering the identity of an online critic by hiring consultants from the Chinese Government.
Highly critical opinions on the poor quality of management at the public broadcaster in a blog are known to have upset BBC bosses who have officially kept silent.
But BBC staff report seeing a team of Chinese men in matching black suits jogging in unison into the headquarters at Pacific Quay.
“They are a crack team of agents flown in from Beijing,” said an official from the Xinhua News Agency. “They eliminate trouble-makers throughout the People’s Republic and enemies of the state are normally disappeared.”
Inside the BBC there was no official comment but some staff said a meeting on the management floor had decided an extreme measure may be required. “The BBC motto is Nation Shall Speak Peace unto Nation,” said one staff member. “And they want Peace so they’re speaking to the Nation of China.”
The agents from Beijing first train bosses in how to behave. “They will be given Chinese silk outfits left over in the props department by Scottish Opera when they did Madame Butterfly,” said an employee. “Managers have to get into character by wearing them at home over the weekend. Sometimes they get too far into it and forget so that they turn up at work on Monday still in costume. Security have been alerted that if Kenny MacQuarrie turns up in a kimono, slicked-back hair and painted almond eyes, he’s to be taken to Makeup to have it removed.”
Investigations by BBC journalists have failed to confirm the identity of the mystery blogger. “He is using the cover name of Derek Bateman Broadcaster but nobody here believes it. That guy was a presenter here for years and would know keep stum on the inner workings of what we call The Corporation,” said a reporter. “It’s run like SMERSH with everything looking normal from the outside but there’s a secret door in the studio wall where they film Dotaman. The management all meet in there and speak gaelic so nobody can understand them. If they wanted Bateman to suffer the ultimate sanction, they would send round a mobile unit with an electronic laser device on the roof, aim it at his house with the heat-seeker on and BLAM…his TV licence would be vapourised.”
Bosses don’t believe one of their presenters could be so malicious and petty as to betray them. “We haven’t spoken to him for years so we don’t know what he was thinking, but he wouldn’t do this to us. We think the website is really run by STV who are trying to poach River City from us as a Scottish version of Downton Abbey,” said the BBC press office.
Meanwhile BBC staff trying to access the blog are confronted by a message reading: Access Forbidden…any repeat and you are designated an Enemy of the State Broadcaster.
At Mr Bateman’s luxury home in Maryhill a Chinese woman said he had not been seen in days. “Probably in pub,” she said.