The BBC has been blasted by one of the country's most powerful media magnates after talks over the sale of TV Centre stalled.
As we reported last week, Television Centre, in west London, has been put up for sale by the BBC as part of cost-slashing exercises. The 14-acre site, including the iconic "doughnut" building, has been a famous part of the BBC since it opened in 1960.
The BBC is hoping to raise £300 million, either by a sale or through partnerships.
Market observers were stunned when EIF News & Features' reclusive owner, Dr Ellis Ian Fields, stepped in with a bid. But negotiations apparently came to a halt yesterday.
An EIF spokesman said: "Dr Fields is furious - he felt talks were going fine... tea and biscuits were provided at BBC HQ and executives wined and dined him at a couple of top London restaurants.
"But they seemed to have baulked at his refusal to offer more than £750 - which is a substantial increase on his initial bid of £584.36 and made despite the fact he has been advised to go no higher than £600.
"Phew! I was in the office yesterday afternoon and the air was blue. Suffice it to say that Dr Fields is of the opinion that the people he's dealing with are akin to various reproductive parts of the human anatomy."