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UK Government plan to insist broadcasters including S4C and BBC Wales make ‘clearly British’ shows

16 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
Left, John Whittingdale. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Right, S4C Headquarters in Carmarthen. Picture by Rhodri ap Dyfrig (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The UK Government is planning to make it a legal requirement that public service broadcasters – which include S4C and BBC Wales – are legally required to produce “distinctly British” programmes.

Media minister John Whittingdale told a Royal Television Society conference that he was planning to “talk to Ofcom about how to make the obligation of Britishness work”.

Broadcast in the UK is state-regulated by Ofcom, which has the legal powers to fine a channel or withdraw its license to broadcast if it breaks Ofcom’s government-approved broadcasting code.

“So in our upcoming White Paper, I intend to include proposals that will expand the remit of public service broadcasters, so that it includes a requirement for them to produce ‘distinctively British’ content,” John Whittingdale said in comments reported by i.

The speech due to be given by Oliver Dowden before he was replaced as Culture Secretary by Nadine Dorries in yesterday’s reshuffle.

He referred to the Carry On films, Blackadder Goes Forth, Fleabag and Gogglebox as examples of British programmes.

It comes as campaigners have called for the devolution of powers over broadcasting to Wales.

Campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith say securing broadcasting powers for Wales is essential to sustain the country’s young devolution settlement.

According to a YouGov opinion poll, 65% of people in Wales favour devolving powers over broadcasting to the Senedd in Cardiff.

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Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
1 month ago

Sounds very Stalinist they must be desperate

Philip Jones
Philip Jones
1 month ago

I assume that by British they mean English? Because if not then anything Welsh is surely more British than anything else? The lunatics are in charge

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

I agree. And I hope S4C will interpret this direction as you do, and stick to their role of supporting a distinctively Welsh culture within an outward-looking global context.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

“He referred to the Carry On films, Blackadder Goes Forth, Fleabag and Gogglebox as examples of British programmes.” Yet another example of a thicko confusing British with English. Should go down well on the Guido site.

Richard the First
Richard the First
1 month ago

Bang goes my dream of a Pam fi Duw? revival then.

Andy Mayes
Andy Mayes
1 month ago

Carry On films – English
Blackadder Goes Forth – English
Fleabag – English
Gogglebox – Includes one couple from Wales commenting on English TV shows

It seems ‘British’ = ‘English’ and is exclusionary (i.e. no solely Welsh, Scottish nor Irish TV programmes)

R W
R W
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy Mayes

You’re right, Gogglebox has one couple from Cymru and no one from Scotland or Northern Ireland. Very English rather than British I’d say.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

That’s great news. Looks like the indigenous native Britons ha e been given the go ahead to promote themselves at last.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Exactly. What could be more British than broadcasting in contemporary Brythonic?

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

Yes, and referring to the Cymru as first nation peoples like the native Americans. F.N.T.V. has a ring to it and would really p#*$ off those Johnny come lately Germanic tribes. Perhaps the first blockbuster series filmed could be Arthur Of the Britons with English subtitles.

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
1 month ago

Perhaps it would be helpful if they gave a list of UK-made TV programmes that don’t pass the British test. Then we can find out whether they really mean English or White!

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

does that mean all those classic british comedies from the 70’s will be resurrected, and we can’t forget the black and white minstrel show, and do I hope they reintroduce playing god save the queen at midnight when the stations shut down for the night, the uk is certainly a world leader now.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Dem bones, Dem bones…………..

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

I really don’t mind the Tories wrapping themselves in the union jack if only the go the whole “burial at sea” trip.
Otherwise it is just a show of their pathetic inadequacy.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

The best thing you can about them is that they are bigoted and corrupt, English nationalist fascists

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

No, the best thing is that Whittingdale has just been sacked by the idiot in charges which makes the posing hilarious.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago

Tory fascistic behaviour

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

The last time I checked Wales was still part of Britain so therefore Welsh programmes ARE British programmes. Unless they think Britain and England are one and the same, if so then they are unfit to govern.

Dewi
Dewi
1 month ago

BBC is the state broadcaster no different than RT

Mustapha Toke
Mustapha Toke
1 month ago

If you’re going to look at an idiot box, showing the rubbish, that ‘the state’ thinks is entertainment, then you deserve all you get. Just keep sitting there sucking on the electyronic nipple and feel safe in your isolation.
Or… get a life and start doing something worthwhile before you die, there is a fantastic amount of actual realtiy out there and you dont need electricity to do it

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