Belfast Telegraph

BBC presenter goes all W1A over BBC scheduling of comedy show

'I would like to hit the person in charge'

By Jonathan Bell

In a scene reminiscent of the hit show, a BBC presenter vented his frustration over the corporation's decision to show an Irish language programme in place of the comedy W1A.

Opening his show on Tuesday, Sean Coyle said he was excited to see the programme on BBC 2 on Monday evening as advertised by the broadcaster, only to tune into the programme Cumhacht an Cheoil instead.

The BBC highlighted how the BBC 2 slot was long established for Irish language programming in Northern Ireland and the comedy was available on the iPlayer.

Mr Coyle said there was nothing wrong with the programme in its place and "it was a very good programme".

But the he said he was compelled to speak out about the rescheduling of the programme for Friday despite his own doubts and his producer's advice not to.

"I have to say this.... I shouldn't and I am trying to stop myself but I have to get this off my chest," he said.

"I waited and waited until last night and then it wasn't on.... why wasn't W1A on?

"And this is what is annoying me even more," he continued. "I won't see it until Friday and the BBC is showing a very good programme tonight, Spotlight, a very good programme I recommend every one watches.

"But then they are showing a repeat of it tomorrow night - the same programme 24 hours later. Why don't you show W1A in place of that?

"I had to get that off my chest, do I feel much better now? not really I would like to hit the person in charge."

W1A centres on high-level BBC management and their efforts at transforming the broadcaster and "identifying what it does best and doing less of it better".  While Cumhacht an Cheoil tells the story of a composer embarking on a new musical project.

Former Education minister Peter Weir has also questioned the scheduling of the hit BBC show.

In response the BBC said: "BBC Northern Ireland television schedule is designed for a local audience.   This time slot on Monday evenings on BBC Two Northern Ireland is a long established slot for our Irish language programmes.  W1A will be broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland on Friday at 10pm and is also available on the BBC Iplayer.”

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