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Russell T Davies says end of the BBC is ‘undoubtedly on its way’

28 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Russell T Davies speaking to a Radio Times audience.

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has said the end of the BBC is “undoubtedly on its way in some shape or form”.

Davies said the decision to co-produce the new series of Doctor Who with streaming platform Disney was to “prepare” for it to outlive the UK broadcaster.

“Before they (the BBC) approached me, I had already said in various interviews I think Doctor Who would have to become a co-production, there’s no way the BBC is going to fund that,” he said on the They Like To Watch podcast.”

“On its way”

He added: “You’ve also got to look in the long term at the end of the BBC, which is somehow, surely, undoubtedly, on its way in some shape or form.

“Is Doctor Who going to die then? No, you’ve got to prepare for that kind of stuff.”

Davies caveated his comments by saying “all of that is kind of the flim flam on top of the fact that I love it, and it’s the only chance you have in television for me to really write in pictures”.

The new series of Doctor Who, starring Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and former Coronation Street actress Millie Gibson, will begin with a double bill on May 11.

“If Disney collapsed tomorrow and we had to go back to making Doctor Who on a normal BBC budget, you know what, we’d all rally round and make it and suddenly the stories would become claustrophobic ghost stories and a lot of people would like that,” Davies said.

But he added it would be a “real shame” if Doctor Who was not available alongside other “big hitters” such as The Mandalorian and Marvel shows.

“Progressive licence fee”

His comments come after BBC director general Tim Davie said he is open to a “more progressive” licence fee and revealed the corporation will launch its “biggest-ever consultation process” next year so the public can drive the debate on its future.

The licence fee has been frozen for two years at £159, but in 2023 the Government announced it would use a lower rate of inflation to increase the household charge from April to £169.50 a year.

The freeze and rising inflation has driven the broadcaster to reassess its priorities as it seeks to make £500 million of savings, with Mr Davie announcing at a Royal Television Society event in London this week that a further £200 million of savings will need to be made.

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3 months ago

BBC has been the target for certain media moguls and far right think tanks with No10 access for some time, and many MP’s also want it hobbled or gone. It will be a bad day when it is ruined. They have gamed the UK and deliberately meddled in the BBC funding. Politically it is already corrupted and afraid of No10, I see that in the main stream and locally, you have Tory placements at the top now (Davie is one), it shows in the bias. Question time is terrible, Sunday AM political shows are a shoe in if you are… Read more »

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
3 months ago

Capitalists once again succeeding in privatising everything. They would privatize oxygen if they could get away with it.

Jen Harper
Jen Harper
3 months ago

Fingers crossed

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
3 months ago

You just have to look at the disinformation pumped out by privately owned media to realise the importance of the BBC, and Channel 4, as public broadcasters. Privately owned media in the UK act more like lobbyists than journalists. They just manipulate the public to manufacture consent.

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