Posted by: Paul | March 3, 2010

The BBC Blather

It’s been a busy few days in the world of the Beeb – and there’s nothing the BBC likes to report on more than itself!

I love the BBC. It’s my honest belief that we would be far poorer as a society without it. Commercial television and subscription television are all very well, but when what comes out of them with the money they make is as much dross as ITV, C4 and Sky produce, you could double the license fee and I would still pay it. I really can’t remember the last time I had anything on ITV or Channel 4 set up to record an entire series – possibly this time last year or even earlier (Dexter for ITV though it’s obviously not their show, and The Devil’s Whore on C4). And I will never subscribe to Sky. NEVER I tell you!

But my PVR has lately been chock full of weekly set-ups for things the BBC broadcast. High profile US acquisitions like Mad Men and Damages, adaptations such as Wallander or the recent version of Jane Austen’s Emma, and totally homegrown new fare like Five Days which started it’s second run on Monday.

So it’s with mixed feelings I heard the confirmation of the rumours that change is afoot. At first I was disappointed about the closure of 6 Music, but then I realised I don’t really listen to it anyway – I just would have liked the option to be open, as it broadcasts much of the music I like – a remit no longer covered by Radio 1 and 2. I get most of my music from the web now. The Asian Network is not aimed at me so I can’t really comment on its closure beyond that it always seems a shame to close anything down and put people out of jobs.

But when I heard that the £600M generated by the closure of these stations and certain parts of the website was to be redirected into programme making, I instantly felt like it was the right decision, for a number of reasons:

1. Cutbacks had previously been threatened in the area of new comissions.
2. It hopefully means more of the quality programming listed above.
3. As an aspiring “programme maker” myself, and with friends who do the same, it’s just possible that some of the cash may be directed our way in the fullness of time. A vain hope, I’m sure.

However, my view is not really that popular, as far as I can tell from the coverage. This post is getting rather long so I shall return to the topic tomorrow – as I was amused to hear a repeated line of questioning in the various reports and interviews that I want to explore further, that of “Why not shut down BBC3 instead?” That is a can of worms all of its own.

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