Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
7

Media News

'QI' producer slams BBC for 'making programmes bland'

By
Alan Davies and Stephen Fry 'QI'

© BBC / Talkback Thames

John Lloyd, the producer behind TV comedies such as QI, Blackadder and Not The Nine O'Clock News, has slammed the BBC for reducing programmes to "bland vichyssoise".

Lloyd, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year honours list, accused the corporation of making "programmes by committee" for fear of causing offence.

Writing in the Radio Times, Lloyd said that "sauciness" is no longer allowed before the 9pm watershed anywhere on the BBC, particularly not on flagship network BBC One.

"The commissioning, legal, compliance and editorial policy police hover over the scripts and the recordings, alert to the merest potential offence," he wrote.

"There are blanket proscriptions, passed down from on high, which reduce everything to a bland vichyssoise that suits comedy programmes not at all. Heaven knows what they would have done to The Two Ronnies."

BBC Radio 2 breakfast DJ Chris Evans has also criticised the corporation's "culture of compliance", describing the restrictions as "a complete pain in the backside".

The BBC strengthened its compliance procedures in 2008 after a series of controversies, including the 'Manuelgate' scandal over lewd messages left by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs during Brand's Radio 2 show.

Lloyd entered the debate about BBC compliance as his brainchild, panel show QI, returns to BBC Two after three years on BBC One.

He expressed happiness that the Stephen Fry-presented programme is back at its old home, noting that doing "very well in the ratings on BBC One" had come at "a cost".

Lloyd said that the move to BBC One meant the show "had to stop being what we had become - eclectic, uncompromising, slightly saucy".

In January, the BBC apologised for jokes made on QI about Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived both atomic bomb attacks in Japan.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...