New BBC boss considering axing left-wing comedy shows to make output seem less ‘one-sided’
Reports say that BBC director-general Tim Davie wants to tackle 'a perceived left-wing bias'
A report in the Telegraph says that new BBC director-general Tim Davie is considering a “radical overhaul” of the corporation’s comedy output to make it seem less “one-sided”.
The Telegraph says that according to senior sources, Daive will outline measures to restore “trust and confidence” in his first speech as director-general this Thursday.
The sources do stress that no decision has been made as of yet, but Davie’s speech will establish a “direction of travel”.
Despite this, The Telegraph’s sources said that it is “expected” that some shows could be taken off the air in the longer term.
There is also a suggestion that panel shows could be made to book more guests with right-wing views.
The report has understandably received strong reactions from comedians.
“Personally can't wait for the new era of pro-government satire,” tweeted Ed Gamble.
“Look out for my new show ‘Come On Guys, They're Doing Their Best Under Difficult Circumstances’.”
Personally can't wait for the new era of pro government satire.
Look out for my new show "Come On Guys, They're Doing Their Best Under Difficult Circumstances"
— Ed Gamble (@EdGambleComedy) September 1, 2020
“For a TV stunt, I once went on stage at a live London comedy club to ‘try out’ some of my new material,” The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci tweeted. “In fact the set consisted of jokes and one-liners from recent speeches made by Conservative MPs and ministers. It was the most appalling three minutes of my life. And filmed.”
For a TV stunt, I once went on stage at a live London comedy club to ‘try out’ some of my new material. In fact the set consisted of jokes and one-liners from recent speeches made by Conservative MPs and ministers. It was the most appalling three minutes of my life. And filmed. https://t.co/q29fgymiys
— Armando Iannucci (@Aiannucci) September 1, 2020
The news has been more warmly received by those on the right. Conservative MP Ben Bradley told The Telegraph: “In recent years lots of BBC comedy shows are just constant Left-wing rants about the Tories and Brexit. If the BBC is to truly represent all licence fee payers, that needs to change.”
“I'd like to see more right-leaning comedians given a chance rather than being effectively blacklisted for their views.”