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Former BBC News head calls on corporation to ‘stop making lower grade stuff’

Nadine Dorries announced that the BBC licence fee will be frozen at £159 for two years.

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The BBC should ‘stop making the lower grade stuff’, a former head of news has said (Ian West/PA)

The BBC should ‘stop making the lower grade stuff’, a former head of news has said (Ian West/PA)

The BBC should ‘stop making the lower grade stuff’, a former head of news has said (Ian West/PA)

The former head of BBC News has said the corporation should focus on “fewer, bigger and better” programmes that viewers perceive as “worth the licence fee alone”.

Roger Mosey also said the BBC should stop making “lower grade schedule filler” and cluttering the schedules following the Government’s licence fee freeze announcement.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed the licence fee is to be frozen at £159 for two years, until 2024, after which it will rise in line with inflation for the following four years.

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Radio Times

Radio Times

Radio Times

BBC director-general Tim Davie has since suggested the funding gap will have grown to around £285 million in the final year of the settlement.

Mr Mosey, 64, has suggested the corporation should “stop cluttering the schedules with tired formats” and focus on the “gems” that only the BBC can create – including Strictly Come Dancing, Peaky Blinders and Wimbledon.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Mr Mosey said: “The best course of action for BBC bosses is to do what they’ve talked about for decades and to focus on ‘fewer, bigger, better’.

“Stop making the lower-grade stuff that’s schedule filler and concentrate on programmes that viewers can describe as ‘worth the licence fee alone’.

“What might be jettisoned would be all new programmes in daytime TV – it could be farewell to Father Brown – and it may be that it’s finally time to merge BBC2 and BBC4 to make a single better-resourced channel.

“Netflix would kill to be able to launch a drama to millions of people simultaneously at 9pm on a Sunday night. But the controllers have cluttered up the schedules with tired formats.”

Mr Mosey also suggested the corporation should protect its news services, which serve the “communities of the UK”.

The licence fee plans will take effect from April 1 and later this year the Government will “start to consider the overall governance and regulation of the BBC”, as part of the mid-term review of the BBC Charter, it was announced last week.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced it plans to cast its gaze to the future and, given the changing broadcasting landscape due to streamers and video on demand, the Government will “separately consider whether the licence fee will remain a viable funding model for the BBC”.

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