Home U.K. BBC bias: 'Left-wing' comedy shows under threat as new BBC boss plans...

BBC bias: 'Left-wing' comedy shows under threat as new BBC boss plans major shakeup

Mr Davie thinks comedy broadcast by the BBC is perceived as targeting the Conservative party more often than it does the left, inside sources told the Telegraph. The corporation’s new director-general is due to outline the issue in his first speech on Thursday.

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Mr Davie officially takes over from previous BBC Director-General Tony Hall today.

He is expected on Thursday to say the BBC will commit to producing material that is more inclusive of beliefs across the political spectrum.

Mr Davie hopes this will help restore “trust and confidence” in the public broadcaster as it faces questions over the future of its publicly-funded model.

Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for Mansfield, welcomed the news, accusing recent BBC comedy shows as being “constant left-wing rants”.

He added Mr Davie “appears to be talking a good game at sorting bias at the BBC.”

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BBC Director-General Tim Davie is due to make a speech this Thursday on the matter (Image: Leon Neal / Getty)

More details are expected in the new director-general’s speech.

Sources have said no firm decisions have been made on how the BBC will tackle perceptions of left-wing bias, though they did say some shows would be axed.

In addition, comedy panel shows will be expected to include guests with a broader range of views.

There will also be a crackdown on BBC journalists expressing their political views on social media.

The discussion on bias comes amid wider concerns over the future of the BBC’s funding model (Image: Peter Summers / Getty)

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Last year, an Ofcom report concluded the BBC is seen as too “middle-class, white and London centric.”

The report also stated viewers were concerned ethnic minorities were not being adequately represented in news stories. This included on-screen presenters.

Ofcom described the BBC’s ability to source local news stories as “unparalleled” and so all of the UK should be represented.

READ: Brexit panic: UK holds emergency meeting with EU as transition period end date looms

Mr Davies officially takes over from previous BBC director Tony Hall, pictured, today (Image: Leon Neal / Getty)

The BBC is said to be considering a new model for its funding which would mirror what Sweden has already done.

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This would mean replacing the TV license with an addition to income tax instead.

Such a model would see people on lower incomes pay less than people on higher incomes.

Regarding the BBC’s comedy output, broadcaster Andrew Neil tweeted in 2018: “When it comes to so-called comedy the BBC has long given up on balance, on radio and TV. Nobody seems to care.

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Licence fee graph (Image: EXPRESS)

“And I don’t want right-wing comedy, whatever that is. I’d just like comedy. Which is in really short supply. On TV and radio.”

Georgie comedian Ben Van der Velde has said comedians expressing views such as pro-Brexit sentiment may become more common in time, claiming the topic often splits parties on both sides.

He told New Statesman: “As with anything, you’ve got to appreciate a diversity of opinion.

BBC presenter Andrew Neil accused the BBC of having “given up” on balanced views in comedy (Image: Dave M. Benett / Getty)

“The fascinating thing about Brexit is that the comedy scene is probably institutionally left but Brexit cuts across that axis.”

“Speaking as a comedian, I think there are certainly right-wing comics you can admire for their performance skill even if you don’t agree with their politics.

“Some right-wing comics, however, also rely on using disgusting racial and gender shorthand, which isn’t even about punching down. It’s joking with hate and contempt.”

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