Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BBC to Ditch the Politics Show Next Summer?


The BBC have got the rights to screen Grand Prix next year, but a lot of the Grand Prix in the spring are due to run around lunchtime on a Sunday. I understand that the BBC top brass are considering running the Grand Prix instead of the Politics Show for the programmes which it might affect. The Grand Prix in question are the European races from May to July next year - 6 or 7 in total - the ones which start around midday. This would include the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May, just before the European & local elections

One option would be to run the Politics Show a little earlier, say at 10am, or afterwards, as they did with the Great North Run recently, when the show aired at 2pm. But apparently, another option being seriously considered would be to drop the show entirely for those weeks.

Six or seven programmes out of 35 would be a serious chunk out of one of the few remaining political programmes on mainstream TV. There are plenty of people who will use this as an argument for ditching the programme entirely. The thinking goes along these lines: why do we have two political programmes on a Sunday (Andrew Marr & Politics Show) when ITV have given up politics altogether?

There's been no decision on it yet, I gather but senior executives are certainly leaning towards scrapping it. Some might say that this would represent dumbing down - showing Grand Prix instead of politics, at a time when politics has never been more volatile or more interesting...

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why should the BBC keep its political coverage? Because if it wants to be a tabloid broadcaster then it can drop the licence fee poll tax.

jamie said...

do they forget that they have two terrestrial TV channels?

bergen said...

I wouldn't call Marr's brown-nosing of Labour a serious political programme anyway.

Not a sheep said...

The only politics coverage that the BBC want to provide is that of the Labour party and how marvellous "Super Gordon" is.

Charlie Root said...

while some would say it smacks of dumming down, others would say it's indicative of how your average joe is being turned off by politics and has been for a long time. I'd much rather watch the politics show than constant fawning over a cocky young British driver.

bj said...

Jamie: the problem is that the Politics Show has a regional opt-out section, and only BBC1 is capable of opting to the regions, not BBC2. You may have noticed this causing havoc during Wimbledon, when they switch the Six O'Clock news to BBC2 at the last minute and everyone gets London's local news.

I haven't heard about this, but it's dreadful if it's the case. Internally, the BBC is certainly getting far, far too excited about having the Formula 1 rights.

Anonymous said...

what you all want to ask yourselves is 'why f1 gets a bigger audience than 'the politics show'

one is about winners and the other about losers!

John M Ward said...

If the BBC had only one channel this might be a valid argument, but they have had two channels for decades and now have four (plus News[24]).

They'll probably wish to drop it after the next General Election, which would fit in nicely if that were to be held by next May, as some are starting to speculate it might.

Once the Conservatives are in power, as still seems probable, the BBC won't want to give coverage to what the new Government is doing any more than they can help.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Why run politics on the BBC at all, when all we get from them anyway is a big socialist hug-fest.

Scrap the licence fee! Carve up the BBC and sell it off. You know it makes sense.

Even Terry Wogan agrees with me.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if this dreary dross disappears from our screens.

And God save us from the regional sections. Here in the North West we can see such truly dreadful people as Nigel Evans, Graham Brady and Nicholas Winterton being interviewed by some regional half wit.

No thanks.

Bring on the Bernie petrol head show. Rock and Roll.

Andy said...

Hmm. As much as I'd like to be able to agree with you on this, I find the Politics Show by far the worst political programming the BBC puts out.

It's just not very interesting, it has a kind of sleepy Sunday feel to it. The regional segments are too cursory to do anything genuinely interesting with so they usually end up just being some boring three-way chat mediated by a second rate interviewer. As a Lib Dem, I should be all in favour of the localism that these bits represent, but they always end up being so dull that they just seem to give localism a bad name.

The national stuff could be covered in a more focussed and interesting way by the various other arms of the BBC's political and current affairs output. I'd rather they scrapped the Politics Show and gave the budget to Newsnight, which is showing increasing signs of the cuts made to its budget.

As a political junkie, I should be an obvious part of the audience for programmes like this, but it's the one political programme the BBC puts out that I really couldn't give a rat's arse about. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Why is the Sunday AM programme, or whatever it is called these days, on so bloody early ? It is practically pre-historic... What is wrong with putting it on at 10ish or better still 11ish..

Who on earth gets up early on a Sunday, for goodness sake ?

Mike Rouse said...

I don't see why they couldn't move it to another channel... Even if a digital channel.

Paul Sheffield said...

The BBC dropped the normally excellent Talking Politics from Radio 4 on Saturday mornings this summer and replaced it with a tedious, dumbed down substitute.

Just when politics was getting interesting and the Conservative Party was riding high. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a compromise on Grand Pricks days - Politics Show hosted by Jeremy Clarkson...

Bad Bunny said...

I hope this doesn't happen. Watching The Politics Show makes me feel slightly less bad for watching Hollyoaks just before it.

africanmum said...

Used to watch this every week. Don't bother now as BBC just parrots spin doctors' scribblings - applies to all parties though, not just labour.

Conand said...

I'm slightly torn here because I'm into politics and an F1 fan*.
I think the obvious answer is to put the politics show on BBC2, BBC4or a BBCi stream.

*Having said that I don't watch 'The Politics Show' anyway. I get plenty of politicking done during the week.

Anonymous said...

i second andy @ 1.26

John Moss said...

The Politics Show can happily migrate to BBC3 or BBC4, they just show repeats during the day and all political nerds who watch PS have digital.

John Pickworth said...

Iain wrote: "Some might say that this would represent dumbing down - showing Grand Prix instead of politics, at a time when politics has never been more volatile or more interesting..."

Ermmm, dumbing down? You obviously haven't been watching F1 recently, its packed with high politics. Those amateurs in Westminster could learn a few things from the paddocks.

As for the Politics Show, its not one of my favourites to be honest... whatever happened to the likes of Brian Waldren, Jonathan Dimbleby and Robin Day; interviewers who used to put the fear of God into the politicians? Today it all seems so cuddly and friendly.

By the way, thought John Sopel on Newsnight last night was quite good.

cherami said...

If it means losing that dreadful presenterise so much the better. Dumbing down is one thing; she is quite another.

Anonymous said...

At last! Brillo could then put his mop to useful purpose scouring pans!

Anthony said...

"The thinking goes along these lines: why do we have two political programmes on a Sunday (Andrew Marr & Politics Show) when ITV have given up politics altogether?"

Because we aren't coerced into paying for the BBC in order for it to mindlessly mimic ITV's scheduling.

Or so one would have thought.

Jonny Wright said...

Formula One, too, has never been more volatile or more interesting ...

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I'd forgotten the F1 was coming back to the beeb. No more stupid ad breaks...all they need to do is get rid of James Allen and Nazi Max and it'll be ace.

And dumbing down...as if replacing a load of idiots not answering questions and lying through their teeth in the hope of winning a few votes with in depth some of the best engineers, strategists and sportspeople in the world is dumbing down.

I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

At least it would rid us of the hysterics of Sopel.

greg said...

Political anaroak that I am, F1 is the one thing I would watch over political coverage...