Ofcom tells the BBC: stop showing so many old films and daytime repeats

14 Oct

Watching a classic film on a rainy afternoon is one of life’s pleasures.

However, it could be a rarer delight in future after Ofcom published new rules requiring more “creative risk-taking” in the BBC schedules.

The corporation is “too reliant” on repeats of films, sitcoms and long-running daytime shows, Ofcom has found, with weekend output coming under particular scrutiny.

Ofcom took over regulation of the BBC earlier this year, and its new guidelines were published yesterday.

They include a requirement to broadcast more British-made programmes, with foreign imports effectively banned from the evening schedules.

The BBC will also have to make more programmes around the UK, ensuring that it spends the same per head on viewers and listeners in every nation.

Hollywood films fall into the category of US imports, while black and white classics are, of course, repeats.

Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s content group director, said: “We want the BBC to provide more original UK drama and comedy, and less acquired content. That could mean more Doctor Foster, The Night Manager or Mrs Brown’s Boys.

“There will always be a place for classic shows and films, but viewers and listeners are clear they want to see new programmes – especially in peak time – that reflect their lives and interests, and carry the stamp ‘made in Britain’.”

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