BBC

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My diversity targets for the BBC

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Terrible news for gay broadcasters —  the BBC has only one year to meet a diversity target which says that…

A blast of restorative air: comedian Mark Steel. Photo: In Pictures Ltd./ Corbis/ Getty Images

The attempt to bring back topicality to Ambridge has been far too effective

2 February 2019 9:00 am

It’s becoming clear that the travails afflicting all the major players in The Archers, Radio 4’s flagship drama, are intended…

Ruthless, uncompromising integrity: Sky's Gomorrah

Why Gomorrah could never have been made by the BBC

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Boy often likes to rebuke me for having impossibly high standards when it comes to TV. ‘Why can’t you just…

In defence of Fiona Bruce

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Will I be allowed to take my dog to Europe after 29 March? A trivial question, you might think, in…

Yemen's capital Sana'a after another airstrike, where Aziz H's award-winning new play is set. Photo: Mohammed Huwais / AFP

Why the BBC International Playwriting Competition really matters

26 January 2019 9:00 am

We don’t know whether ‘Aziz H’ listened to radio plays as he grew up in Yemen. In fact we don’t…

David Oyelowo as Javert in Andrew Davies's Les Misérables. Photo: BBC / Lookout Point / Laurence Cendrowicz

Les Misérables is another depressing example of the BBC’s woke quota targets

19 January 2019 9:00 am

As the Allies advanced towards Germany in September 1944, their supplies were brought all the way from western Normandy in…

To the BBC, history is something to be twisted by the tyranny of Now

5 January 2019 9:00 am

For a while, as a 13-year-old, I was obsessed with rabbits — the consequence of having read Watership Down by…

Writers of some of the best-loved programmes in British television history: Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement

Dick Clement on Porridge, Kirk Douglas and having seven projects on the go

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are still going strong after more than 50 years. James Walton discovers their secret

Serial's Sarah Koenig

How did the BBC’s podcast Unexpected Fluids ever get made?

5 January 2019 9:00 am

You may have noticed the flood of podcasts that’s been pouring out of the BBC since the launch of its…

The Little Drummer Girl [Photo: BBC]

Why does Le Carré get a prime BBC slot? Because he loathes the West

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Thank the blessed Lord it’s over. Not Brexit, or Theresa May’s flailing and spastic governance. I’m talking about John le…

Will the Daily Mail’s volte-face on Brexit make the slightest difference?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

It will be interesting to see whether the about-face of the Daily Mail on Brexit makes the slightest difference to…

Diego Luna as Felix Gallardo in Netflix's latest series of Narcos. Photo: Carlos Somonte / Netflix

No, Narcos, those who’ve had the odd puff and cheeky line aren’t to blame for the drug wars

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Narcos is back on Netflix, set in Mexico this time, with a cool, world-weary, manly voiceover swearily lecturing us at…

May's deal proves one thing: the establishment always wins

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Peasants’ Revolts tend not to work out too well in this country, for the peasants. I suppose that is why…

Henry Williamson and Charles Carrington, two of the soldiers featured in Radio 4's Voices of the First World War

When the first world war ended, many soldiers were left with ‘a terrible empty feeling’

10 November 2018 9:00 am

‘It was so unreal,’ said one of the first world war veterans about the long-awaited Armistice. It was the most…

Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers. Photo; Gareth Cattermole/ Getty Images

Why has BBC Radio been replaced by ‘BBC Sounds’?

3 November 2018 9:00 am

You may have noticed that BBC iPlayer (for radio programmes) has been replaced this week with the new BBC Sounds…

The Maze Prison in 2006. Photo: REX/ Shutterstock

What are the writers of The Archers trying to achieve with the Freddie Pargetter story?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘I’m not here to rehabilitate,’ says Pamela, who teaches creative writing to prisoners in Northern Ireland. She doesn’t think of…

Forget the BBC – only Channel 5 does proper documentaries these days

29 September 2018 9:00 am

What a load of utter tripe Bodyguard (BBC1, Sundays) was. Admittedly, I came to it late having missed all the…

Author Kate Atkinson attending the Costa Book Awards for her novel Life After Life

Kate Atkinson’s new novel Transcription asks us how carefully we are paying attention

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Transcription, Kate Atkinson’s 11th novel, sees her returning to the detective fiction she honed in her series about Jackson Brodie,…

The rough, simple and cheerily thick lifeguards of Bondi Rescue. Image: Mojo Down Under

All the good non-fiction that was ever on TV was made by middle-aged men

1 September 2018 9:00 am

All the good non-fiction things that were ever on TV — from Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth…

Cariad Lloyd has an excellent mission: to get us talking about death. Photographer. Image: Jonny Birch/Bafta/Rex/Shutterstock

Podcasts still have a long way to go to challenge the best of conventional radio

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a thought. Matthew Bannister, former Radio 1 controller turned presenter of programmes such as Outlook on the World Service…

Why is a BBC executive calling for the removal of middle-aged white men from television?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Cassian Harrison, the editor of BBC Four, told the Edinburgh International Television Festival last week that no one wants to…

Holidays in Hell – Such A Pleasant Getaway from the BBC

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Apparently there’s a new ‘character’ on University Challenge. I wouldn’t know. Last year, I vowed never again to raise my…

Why Boris is wrong about burkas

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Were you aware that men who transition into women can suffer period pains, despite not having a uterus? Oh, they…

Channel 4 doesn’t do ‘news’ in any meaningful sense of the word – it’s pure propaganda

21 July 2018 9:00 am

When President Trump refused to take a question from a CNN reporter at the Chequers press conference last week, I…

The marketisation of BBC radio is a recipe for creative disaster

21 July 2018 9:00 am

There’s been a lot of fuss and many column inches written about levels of pay at the BBC, as revealed…