Last week, I was invited, as part of a select group of bloggers, to dinner with the BBC’s Economics and Business editor, [Jeremy Hillman](http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/news/jeremy_hillman.shtml).
Jeremy and I happen to come from the same law school, and he just completed his MBA. So we had plenty to talk about! I also met his boss, [Francesca Unsworth](http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/news/francescaunsworth.shtml). They’re both from the BBC headquarters, not the local office, but what struck me was how friendly and unassuming they were.
Interacting with representatives from the BBC made me look back at how I’ve grown up with this institution. As a child, my mother would awaken me to the sound of BBC radio. When I moved to Bristol, I didn’t have a television set but I continued listening to radio, particularly for the news, Parliamentary sessions and any interesting developments in music that I didn’t get to hear back in Singapore.
When I did go over to a friend’s place with a TV set, I would split my sides watching BBC programmes like [Goodness Gracious Me!](http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/goodnessgraciousme/)
Then the Internet sprung up. In the mid 2000s, I became addicted to BBC’s Sportdaq (now [closed](http://www.bbc.co.uk/celebdaq/closed.shtml)), earning wads of cash as I bought shares in the hottest sports celebrities. Now, thanks to the situation that has given cause for consternation to football fans in Singapore, I rely mainly on the BBC for belated football news. I did opine that I was unable to watch some football videos, since I wasn’t in the right territory 😉
Now, I will be keeping a closer eye on their [Asia Business](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/asia_business/) section, knowing that it is helmed by a capable fellow alumnus!
I also told Jeremy that my impression of the BBC was that it is seen as fair and independent. Judging from how other major news agencies have increasingly been bought over and consolidated, with vested commercial interests, an institution that provides an impartial opinion becomes all the more critical.