IT HAS been revealed today May 13 that firm favourites on BBC daytime TV could be getting the axe due to having been run for too long on the channel. Programmes like Homes under the Hammer, Escape to the Country and Bargain Hunt could be facing the chop as the culture secretary John Whittingdale unveiled the government’s white paper on the future of the BBC, and also stated that the corporation should stop chasing ratings.
The white paper says that bosses should show more ‘creative ambition’ and make shows like Strictly Come Dancing and more dramas like War and Peace, rather than long-running shows like Bargain Hunt which is now in its 43rd series.
Culture vultures out there will be pleased to learn that the white paper proposes that out-of-date programmes could be shelved and replaced with more distinctive news, arts or music output.
Mr Whittingdale also said that the BBC is not fit for purpose and complained over ´left-wing luvvies´ for ´ill-founded hysterical speculation´ about his potential reforms.
The reform paper says: ‘There is evidence that BBC One could have greater levels of creative ambition in its programming, while staying true to its overall positioning as a more mainstream TV channel.
‘The government’s market impact study suggested that BBC One’s schedule has become less innovative and risk-taking over the past 10-15 years’.
It goes on to say that the corporation is ‘highly reliant on long-running property and collectables programming: Homes under the Hammer in its 20th series, Bargain Hunt in its 43rd series, and Escape to the Country in its 16th series.’
A BBC spokesman said that the BBC was constantly evolving: ‘BBC Daytime and Early-Peak broadcast around 1,400 hours of original British TV a year, focusing on quality and distinctiveness and representing excellent value-for-money for licence-fee payers.
‘Last week we announced eight new shows on a wide range of subjects, from philanthropy to the NHS.
‘These will appear alongside long-running daytime audience favourites such as Homes Under the Hammer, which are kept fresh by evolving them – in this case by introducing new presenter Dion Dublin last year.’
The corporation has been undergoing its biggest reforms for 90 years, with the trust demanding ´greater transparency´ on spending, including publishing the names of anyone being paid more than £450,000 (€571,383).
Mr Whittingdale also confirmed the £145 (€184) licence fee in the UK will stay, although the current freeze imposed since 2010 will be lifted in 2017, with the price rising every year.