On Wednesday Sharp was spotted at a journalism conference in London, held to honour the legacy of the late great Sir Harry Evans. (Other attendees included Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr, the New Statesman‘s political editor, Katharine Viner, editor of the Guardian, the BBC’s Amol Rajan, and Rachel Johnson.)
Next, the Chatterer hears Sharp will be heading up to Liverpool on Thursday night for the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Not all at the BBC will be pleased to see their outgoing chairman demonstrating his support for Eurovision. There had apparently been a bun fight for places (this is, after all, the first time the UK has hosted the tournament since 1998). And, according to one source, Sharp and his plus-one were late RSVPers, meaning others hoping for a space in the BBC’s coveted box will have to miss out.
[See also: Why Eurovision is beloved by the LGBTQ community]
Sharp, it seems, is refusing to go out with a whimper. In late April he resigned from the BBC after an investigation found he had failed to declare his connection to an £800,000 loan guarantee made to Boris Johnson, the former PM, who was involved in his appointment.
Sharp has always maintained that his role was limited to introducing Sam Blyth, Johnson’s distant cousin who later provided the loan guarantee, to Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, to ensure that “due process” was followed. Announcing his resignation, Sharp said he had not played “any part whatsoever in the facilitation, arrangement, or financing of a loan for the former prime minister”. He said he was stepping down to “prioritise the interests of the BBC”.
[See also: Is the BBC afraid of satire?]