Belfast Telegraph

Oxbridge grip 'greater than ever'

Ben Elton has complained that the pop and theatre worlds are in "the grip" of an Oxbridge elite.

Several stars, including David Morrissey, Stephen McGann and veteran actress Julie Walters, have previously voiced concerns that the acting business was becoming the preserve of the wealthy.

Now comedian Ben has told Radio Times magazine that the situation had " gone backwards".

"I wouldn't have expected (when he was growing up) that the grip of Oxbridge would be greater now than it has ever been, not just in the City, politics and law any more, it's bloody pop music and theatre as well," he said.

"Not to argue with any of the individuals because they are all splendid people, but I find it deeply depressing that we are getting this terrible division."

Ben recently hit back after Michael Gove claimed, when he was education secretary, that "left-wing academics" were using Blackadder "to feed myths" about the First World War.

Ben, who helped pen the sitcom, continued his criticism in Radio Times magazine, saying: "Michael Gove has claimed that it was a war that had to be fought and that Blackadder denigrates it, which is an absolute nonsense. Blackadder is deeply respectful of the human spirit, to the heroism and the brotherly love of the British soldier.

"But it is also legitimately satirising a complete collapse of original thinking. The First World War was 20th-century technology meeting 19th-century thinking."

He added: "Blackadder Goes Forth was well researched and was written respectfully. It was a very, very silly thing for Gove to say and he was utterly wrong about Blackadder."


From Belfast Telegraph