Belfast Telegraph

Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin: Scheduling clashes can be demoralising

The writer has also said it is ‘modestly reassuring’ to know her series is being watched globally at the same time as Brexit.

Daisy Goodwin says television scheduling clashes can be demoralising for writers (Ian West/PA)
Daisy Goodwin says television scheduling clashes can be demoralising for writers (Ian West/PA)

Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin has said that TV schedules can be “demoralising” to people whose programmes must compete with other popular shows.

The TV writer has also said that she thinks her period drama about Queen Victoria, which is watched across the world, is a good antidote to Brexit, which she said has made the UK a “global laughing stock”.

The third series of Goodwin’s programme, starring Jenna Coleman as the royal, is currently airing at 9pm on Sundays on ITV, the same time as BBC One’s popular crime drama Line Of Duty.

In this Brexit turmoil that’s made us a global laughing stock, it is modestly reassuring to know that a British show about a British queen is watched, and I hope enjoyed, in 146 countries around the world Daisy Goodwin

The first episode of the current season of Victoria drew an overnight audience of 3.8 million viewers, with a 19% audience share.

Line Of Duty, which returned for its fifth series a week later, pulled in 7.8 million viewers and had an audience share of 38%, its figures enjoying a boost after its writer Jed Mercurio’s major drama series Bodyguard last year.

Goodwin told Radio Times magazine: “It’s a dark art, scheduling, and it can be very demoralising for people who have dedicated themselves to making something special to realise that for the scheduler your carefully-honed drama is nothing more than a line of sandbags against Bodyguard 2 or, in Victoria’s case, Line Of Duty.”

Last year, another lavish ITV period drama, Vanity Fair, was forced to go up against Mercurio’s political thriller Bodyguard, which won the ratings battle.

Goodwin also said that she feels Victoria is something positive for the rest of the world to see.

She said: “The Empire has, thank goodness, long gone, but, in this Brexit turmoil that’s made us a global laughing stock, it is modestly reassuring to know that a British show about a British queen is watched, and I hope enjoyed, in 146 countries around the world.”

The current series of Victoria aired in the US before it was shown in the UK, and Goodwin said that she hopes the next series will air at the same time in both countries.

Of the fourth series, which she said “will be the darkest yet, Goodwin added: “I hope that the gods of scheduling look favourably upon it and decide to put it out simultaneously with the US broadcast so that it can be a truly global shared experience.”

Radio Times is available now.

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