Lily Allen: I Was Muzzled by the BBC…

The BBC claims they didn’t cancel Lily Allen’s scheduled interview over her controversial Grenfell Tower remarks.  So what really happened?

Following the Grenfell Tower Fire last Friday, UK singer and songwriter Lily Allen slammed the government and the media.  In a Channel 4 News interview, the singer claimed that the media actively hid true death toll numbers.

After making the controversial remarks, Allen went on social media to state that the BBC cancelled her scheduled interview.  Many believed that she got the axe over her controversial comments.  Now, the BBC has explained why it cancelled the singer’s interview at the last moment.

On June 14, shortly before 1 a.m., a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower in London.  Despite firefighters’ best efforts to control the blaze, 30 people have now perished with 76 people currently missing.   Well, those are the stats being reported by the mainstream media.  Police admit that they may never be able to identify all of the victims.

Joining a chorus of other celebrities, Lily Allen slammed the government and the media for downplaying the tragedy.  She told Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow,

“I feel like the government is trying to micro-manage people’s grieving here, that’s what’s happening.  I have never in my life seen an event like this where the death count has been downplayed by mainstream media.  Seventeen?  I’m sorry but I’m hearing from people that the figure is much closer to 150, and that many of those people are children.”

She added,

Those are off the record numbers I’ve been given from policemen and from firemen.

Jon Snow attempted to shift blame away from the government and the media.  He claimed that police officers would have difficulties identifying fire victims.  This difficulty, he said, would hinder reporting on true death toll numbers.

Allen later took to Twitter to defend her comments.  She said,


After the controversial remarks, Lily Allen took to Twitter to say that the BBC had cancelled her scheduled interview.


On Friday, the BBC issued a statement to clarify the cancellation.  According to the network, they didn’t cancel Allen’s interview due to her controversial remarks.  Instead, the BBC generally prioritizes interviews with people “who can be held accountable.”  She got the boot at the last moment over a more pressing interview.  The statement reads,

With live news programmes like Newsnight final decisions on guests are often made late in the day which can mean the line up changes at short notice.

“Newsnight secured an interview with the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council late on Thursday evening and dropped Lily in order to allow time for Kirsty Wark to conduct a thorough accountability interview.  Like other BBC outlets, Newsnight has reported official casualty figures but also made it clear that they are expected to rise substantially.”

Scotland Yard has since launched a criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire.  Accordingly, they found that the building used material banned in the United States.  Authorities have blamed the type of cladding used to house the 24-story block. MPs have called for authorities to bring corporate manslaughter charges on the building’s owners.

Image by Drew d F Fawkes (CC by 2.0)

One Response

  1. Rob

    it’s probably because the British public is sick of hearing her one sided opinion being rammed down our throats.