Belfast Telegraph

BBC 'to face ban on ITV shows clash'

By Joe Churcher

The BBC could be forced to move programmes such as Doctor Who and Sherlock from prime-time slots to avoid clashes with rival shows, it has been reported.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is reportedly planning tough new rules to crack down on "competitive scheduling", which could see the corporation having to stop screening its most popular shows at the same time as others on rival ITV.

Shows that could be affected include Poldark and Strictly Come Dancing, which goes up against ITV's X Factor each year on Saturday nights - the weekend's most coveted slot.

Labour said it would oppose any such moves. Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Minister, Maria Eagle said: "John Whittingdale is behaving as if he were running the BBC - he is not. This meddling would be a completely unacceptable interference in the independence of the BBC."

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