BBC drama at ‘a tipping point’ with licence fee cuts
12 May 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Recent hit BBC One drama Poldark was commissioned by Ben Stephenson
The BBC will be forced to slash its drama output if the licence fee is cut, according to the man who commissioned hits like Poldark, Sherlock, Call the Midwife and Wolf Hall.
Outgoing controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson said the broadcaster was at a “tipping point”.
He told the Radio Times: “There will be less drama and fewer jobs. It doesn’t make sense on an economic level.”
“We do need to increase the licence fee,” added Stephenson.
The fee is currently capped at 2010’s sum of £145.50 until 31 March 2017, but Stephenson said freezing was the same as cutting the fee when you factored in inflation.
“It really can’t keep cutting… And the truth is the market isn’t going to fill the gap,” he said.
The commissioner, who is also credited with acclaimed dramas The Missing, Line Of Duty and The Fall, said the quality of British television was at stake.
“Someone invented the TV but it was the BBC that invented British television,” said Stephenson.
“You can’t just pull the rug from under that and think that nothing is going to change. And the BBC will be the poorer for it.”
Stephenson has overseen drama commissioning at the BBC since 2008
Stephenson, who is moving to a …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment