BBC News presenter Peter Dobbie has said the corporation’s expensive new headquarters is a “toxic waste pit” that is making staff ill, after contracting a vomiting bug. The Mail on Sunday reports that staff at the new Broadcasting House in central London have claimed that there is a “trend of filth, human waste products and a badly built building.”
They have said that the building is “unclean and dangerous” and that staff are regularly becoming sick.
In an email sent by Mr Dobbie to Dan Goad, head of human resources at BBC News, the presenter says he was hospitalised after contracting the norovirus while working in a basement studio in the building. The virus is known to breed in insanitary conditions.
He writes: “I’ve had “food poisoning” three times now in the past year from [studio] B3, as have several of my colleagues.
“There is now obviously a trend down there – a trend of filth, human waste products, and a badly built building.
“Whatever is happening on B3 is vicious, adaptable and life-threatening. Dan, I don’t say this lightly, but what has to happen before the BBC does the right thing by the staff over this, accept there’s a problem because people are getting sick, and deal with it.
“The onus surely is on the BBC to make sure we’re safe, not on us to prove that the building is a toxic waste pit.”
He goes on to name other staff who have contracted the virus. These include BBC World News presenters Nik Gowing and Babita Sharma, and financial journalist Sally Bundock.
He adds: “There are others, not least all the make-up artists who live down there for ten-hour shifts: headaches, sickness, nosebleeds, nausea and no fresh air.”
The BBC’s new London headquarters finally opened last year after long delays. The final cost of the building was over £1 billion, yet two months ago the corporation spent even more money renovation two floors which were seen as “uninspiring”.
A BBC spokesman told the Mail on Sunday: “We take this issue very seriously and conducted a full investigation as soon as we were made aware of these concerns. We have found no evidence of a link to the studios. We are glad Peter is making a good recovery.”