Belfast Telegraph

BBC boss defends British shows

BBC TV boss Danny Cohen has defended British dramas against critics who say they are inferior to their US counterparts.

The corporation's head of television said homegrown drama was being unfairly compared to US box-sets.

He wrote in a BBC blog: "In Britain, we are not very good at celebrating our success. We somehow find it embarrassing. We often see the cup as half-empty."

He admitted: "Sometimes what the BBC produces falls short of expectations. Sometimes we fail. Not everything we produce for licence-fee payers lives up to our hopes and dreams."

But he said: "This is the natural state of things in a creative industry."

He cited BBC dramas such as crime thriller Happy Valley, Call The Midwife, Sherlock and Luther - while also praising ITV's shows Broadchurch and Downton Abbey.

He added: "Setting aside the occasional primetime miss suffered by every television network in the world, I believe we should more confidently raise the flag for British drama which - beyond these shores - has huge respect and kudos."

He dismissed the notion that US drama "is far superior to drama produced in the UK and at the BBC" saying that it was "an argument driven by box-set consumers who have a louder voice in Britain's cultural dialogue than the average family".

He added that it was "only the very best, the truly excellent" US shows "that tends to travel as far as our shores and get noticed."

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