The BBC must focus on making fewer, bigger and better programmes
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Roger Mosey claims a shake-up is the best way to deal with the Government’s licence fee freeze.
The former editorial director says the corporation should focus on “fewer, bigger, better” shows like Line Of Duty, Strictly Come Dancing and Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries.
Mr Mosey told Radio Times that schedulers have filled Saturdays with “tired formats” like the Weakest Link and the “1000th series of Casualty”.
He said programme-makers should abandon the “lower grade stuff”, like Father Brown, which fill the gaps between the better quality shows and look at merging BBC2 and BBC4.
Last week Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the licence fee will be frozen at £159 for two years and said the settlement would be the last. Mr Mosey, also once head of BBC TV News, said: “There is renewed urgency in working out how the country should fund the BBC if the licence fee is scrapped.
“If the cuts mean holes in the schedules, it will be the price we all have to pay for the Government’s freeze. If Father Brown faces an untimely end, we should look for the culprit in Whitehall.”
Mr Mosey, who oversaw the BBC’s coverage of the London 2012 Olympics and is now master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, said TV chiefs should “do what they’ve talked about for decades.” He added: “Focus on fewer, bigger, better. Stop making the lower-grade stuff that’s schedule filler and concentrate on programmes that viewers can describe as ‘worth the licence fee alone’.
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“We know what they are: Strictly Come Dancing, Sir David Attenborough, Peaky Blinders, Line of Duty, Wimbledon. What might be jettisoned would be all new programmes in daytime TV. Maybe it’s finally time to merge BBC2 and BBC4 to make a single better-resourced channel.
“The controllers have cluttered up the schedules with tired formats.”
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