Improve your comedy, Ofcom tells the BBC

14 October, 2017, 03:08 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Hugh Bonneville and and Sarah Parish in W1A

At least 75% of all programming on BBC1 and BBC2 must be original productions from next year, Ofcom has said.

. Particularly the 90 per cent British programming during peak hours, since damn near everything outside peak hours is daytime TV that tends to be made in the United Kingdom anyway.

The BBC will be forced to commission more series in the mould of Doctor Foster, W1A and The Night Manager, and to row back on bought-in series like the Swedish Wallander, or reruns of classic films. "We expect the BBC to have particular regard to this finding", it said. The regulator said that comedy was now an "area of particular weakness" for the broadcaster.

Despite being the driving force behind shows such as Monty Python's Flying Circus in the past, the Corporation is now "too traditional", viewers told Ofcom.

From next year the regulator, whose responsibilities now extend to the corporation, will require at least three quarters (75 per cent) of all programme hours on the BBC's most popular TV channels to be original productions, commissioned by the BBC for United Kingdom audiences - reaching 90 per cent during "peak" evening hours on BBC One and BBC Two.

The quota includes repeats and acquisitions.

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The new rules are part of the... Each figure will be proportionate to that country's population size, which is created to ensure the BBC is catering to each region and offering them specialised content - rather than just focussing all of its efforts on South East England.

Coming into effect from January, the new rules also require the channels to show at least 6,000 hours of programmes "which are of specific interest to the nations and regions", of which 95% must be made in the areas to which they relate. BBC4 quotas are more relaxed.

The new rules also state that the BBC has to produce half of its content (measured in hours, not shows) outside of London. The Corporation is under orders to put more regional voices on air - especially from Wales and Northern Ireland.

The BBC will also have to make more programmes around the United Kingdom, ensuring that it spends the same per head on viewers and listeners in every nation.

The BBC has resisted this sort of change in the past, saying box-ticking targets are too restrictive. Adding, "We will now get on with meeting these requirements and continuing to provide the world-class, creative BBC the public wants".

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