The government’s been mocked for requiring more ‘Britishness’ on TV – 13 takedowns worth watching
The government is planning to introduce new rules to ensure that broadcasters create sufficient shows that showcase ‘Britishness’.
Media minister John Whittingdale said public service broadcasters like the BBC and ITV would be required to produce ‘distinctly British’ content although he admitted that the term ‘Britishness’ was a ‘difficult concept to measure’.
Shows that were included as examples included Only Fools and Horses, Fleabag, Downton Abbey, The Great British Bake Off, Blackadder, Doctor Who, Derry Girls and … the Carry On films.
And it’s fair to say the plans didn’t a great reception. Here are our 13 favourite responses.
Quite apart from the silliness of the proposal, and it really is quite mind-meltingly silly, how exactly do you measure this? What precisely is British about Fleabag and in what quantities would it be needed to satisfy the criteria? https://t.co/4PuIGTLeH1
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) September 16, 2021
Isn't it interesting* that whenever MPs cite their ideas of 'British' TV shows or films they tend to be a majority / entirely white cast. No mention of Luther, or I May Destroy You, or Small Axe, or Top Boy… https://t.co/VdSPcvuYE0
— Roisin O'Connor (@Roisin_OConnor) September 16, 2021
TBH if more 'Britishness' means more shows that reflect modern Britain like We Are Ladyparts, I May Destroy You, Dreaming Whilst Black, Starstruck and This Country do, then I'm all for it. Those *are* the kind of shows John Wittingdale means, right..?
— Andrea Mann (@AndreaMann) September 16, 2021
Just say white https://t.co/wk4IamXpAb
— Nish Kumar (@MrNishKumar) September 16, 2021
One of the shows described by John Whittingdale as "reflecting Britain and British values" was 'Planet Earth'. Which is actually one of the most British things I've ever heard.
— Matt Green (@mattgreencomedy) September 16, 2021
I'm intrigued by the idea that John Whittingdale thinks that Dr Who is a model of British values. Those values incorporate anti-imperialism, anti-pacifism, internationalism, blowing things up, not blowing things up and throwing high-tax government officials off tall buildings.
— Matthew Sweet (@DrMatthewSweet) September 16, 2021
When they say “Britishness” they mean Englishness.
— Oscar Allen (@oscardebird) September 16, 2021
Note from DCMS: Due to our Obligatory Britishness Quota all scripts must include three of the following:
1. A London bus.
2. A working class person whistling cheerily.
3. A polite child.
4. Casual racism.
5. Fish and/or chips.
6. A misplaced sense of cultural superiority. https://t.co/mYAZpofg5N
— Lisa Holdsworth (@WorksWithWords) September 16, 2021
Just heard that Nadine Dorries is gonna replace all West End shows with Big Break.
— Sooz Kempner (@SoozUK) September 16, 2021
*all main characters identify as Irish*
Derry girls – distinctively British
The empire will never die in the minds of certain Brits https://t.co/k7JRxkQ4E1
— Ciara McShane (@Ciara87C) September 16, 2021
I for one love the "britishness" of Derry Girls pic.twitter.com/X3g3wPdOKA
— Natalie Mirosch (@NatalieMirosch) September 16, 2021
Call me naive, but I’d want a Culture Secretary to be focused on helping an extremely economically important sector recover from Covid ahead of fighting to ensure that U.K. Gold shows Love Thy Neighbour uncensored.
— . (@twlldun) September 16, 2021
And finally …
"…And at 8:30pm on BBC1 there will be another episode of The Great British Jingoist Falls Wanking to the Floor…" https://t.co/FCD0IuQPHn
— Richard Littler (@richard_littler) September 16, 2021
Although, since he said this, Whittingdale has been reshuffled out of the government. Over to you, newly-installed culture secretary Nadine Dorries. What could possibly go wrong?