The departure of the Series 5 genuine Harris jacket in favour of a 20% acrylic Chinese wannabe* reportedly caused Angus MacNeil, MP Western Isles, to throw a temper tantrum:
“I’m appalled and outraged. What the BBC are doing is stealing Scotland’s heritage. It is a kick in the teeth to one of our most iconic industries.”
MacNeil has promised to send an angry letter to BBC director general Mark Thompson. What he and The Daily Record, which demonstrated a perfect example of one-sided reporting when it called the Beeb “greedy,” don’t understand is that the corporation had nought to do with the jacket switch. Matt Smith has been saying since promotion for his first season that in the middle of a winter filming schedule, authentic Harris tweed doesn’t do a very good job of keeping him warm.
Nonetheless, naysayers will cry that the BBC made Matt say that to cover up a diabolical advertising scheme, and there’s good evidence to back up that claim. As we reported recently, the BBC currently has a deal going with a Canadian designer to manufacture and sell “officially licenced” Eleventh Doctor jackets to eager (and wealthy) Whovians for a whopping £309.99 (The Daily Record incorrectly claims the price to be £360)! It’s certainly an income source the broadcasting giant couldn’t have had if they had remained with last year’s Harris model.
Whether the final decision was truly made by Matt Smith and the Doctor Who production crew or its parent company is anyone’s guess; either way, remember to grab some salt anytime you fancy a trip to a tabloidy website such as The Daily Record.
*We’ve since learned that the current jacket is not, in fact Chinese, but Saville Row.