Belfast Telegraph

BBC presenter 'annoyed' as comedy about Beeb bungling is rescheduled

By Jonathan Bell

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

Opening his Radio Foyle show yesterday, Sean Coyle said he had been excited to find out the programme would be on BBC2 on Monday evening - only to tune in to see Cumhacht an Cheoil on the small screen instead.

The corporation said the BBC2 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 Cumhacht an Cheoil and "it was a very good programme".

But he added he felt compelled to speak out about the rescheduling of W1A to Friday despite his own doubts and his producer's advice not to comment.

"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 told listeners.

"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 everyone 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".

Cumhacht an Cheoil tells the story of a composer embarking on a new musical project.

Former DUP education minister Peter Weir has also questioned the scheduling of the hit BBC show, W1A.

In response, the broadcaster 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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