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BBC and Television Genres in Jeopardy

Jeremy Tunstall

This book considers British television from the point of view of executive producers: the people who employ the workforce and are in charge of making all television series. The focus of the book is twenty-one separate genres, at least seven of which are in significant decline – namely current affairs, education, natural history, science, arts, children’s and religion. Some other public service genres – such as documentary, history and travel – are in good health. The most commercially successful genres include formatted factual entertainment series, such as cooking, homes, quiz/game, reality and sport.
The author completed 150 interviews not only with executive producers but with BBC and ITV channel controllers and top genre commissioners. Playing a supporting role are another 200 interviews, which were the basis of the author’s 1993 book, Television Producers. Since 1990, and especially since 2008, British television production has faced financial challenges. Meanwhile, BSkyB, Virgin Media and Channel Five are American controlled, and most of the larger London ‘independent’ production companies are now American or Euro-American owned and operated. Public service broadcasting in general, and BBC television in particular, are threatened with probable further decline. This book offers new insights into the state of British television through the eyes of those working on the inside.
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My thanks to these people who gave me taped face-to-face interviews, in almost all cases at their place of work: Dan Adamson, Pablo Aguirre, Dawn Airey, Kenton Allen, Tess Alps, Geoff Atkinson, David Attenborough, Matt Baker, Glenn Barden, Emily Bell, Roger Bolton, Jeremy Bowen, Kate Bulkley, Ed Braman, Dorothy Byrne, Doug Carnegie, John Clarke, Andrew Cohen, Danny Cohen, Tony Cohen, Charles Constable, Michael Crick, Mark Damazer, Martin Davidson, Jeremy Dear, Conor Dignam, Jonathan Dimbleby, Greg Dyke, Clive Edwards, David Elstein, Ben Fenton, Peter Fincham, Alastair Fothergill, Ben Gale, Mike Gardner, Steven Garrett, Tony Grant, Eleanor Greene, Toby Hartwell, Kate Harwood, Edward Havard, Lorraine Heggessey, Steve Hewlett, Tim Hincks, Alison Hindell, Patricia Hodgson, Susan Hogg, Richard Holloway, Claire Horton, Jay Hunt, Sue Inglish, Faisal Islam, Andrew Jackson, Paul Jackson, Dylan Jane, Clive Jones, Martha Kearney, Richard Klein, Nichola Koratjitis, Jonathan Lewis, David Liddiment, Mark Linsey, Patricia Llewelyn, Kevin Lygo, Laura Mackie, Angus Macqueen, Graham McWilliams, David Mannion, Andrew Marr, Eamonn Matthews, Paul Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell, Patrick Morris, Thomas Morris, Gerry Morrissey, Neil Mortensen, Roger Mosey, Graham Mytton, Bill Neely, Neil Nightingale, Craig Oliver, Peter Pagnamenta, Tony Pastor, Charlie Pattinson, John Perkins, Robert Peston, Jon Ploman, Stephen Price, Keiran Roberts, Nick Robinson, Peter Salmon, Diederick Santer, Samir Shah, John Silver, John Simpson, Jon Snow, Martin Spence, Nigel Stafford-Clark, Ben Stephenson, Kevin Sutcliffe, Ceri Thomas, Deborah Turness, Adrian Van Klaveren, Jeremy Vine, Bella Vuillermoz, David Walker, Sarah Walmsley, Richard Wilson, David Wood, Mark Wood, Michael Wood, Colin Wratten, Steven Wright, John...

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