The BBC has confirmed plans to close down the digital radio stations 6 Music and Asian Network as part of wide-ranging cuts aimed at increasing funding for sub-standard police and hospital dramas, as well as insultingly dim-witted Saturday evening programming.
Half of the sections on the BBC website are also set be pulled, as the corporation reduces online spending by a quarter, with a view to reducing its broadcasting down to the lowest possible denominator.
The drastic changes were outlined by BBC director general Mark Thompson as he presented the Putting Quality First review to staff ahead of a 12-week consultation period.
In the report to the BBC Trust, Thompson argued that he wants to reprioritise nearly £600m a year towards “creating another programme that’s a bit like Morse. There aren’t nearly enough detective dramas on our screens at the moment.
“The same goes for hospital dramas. Can you tell me the last time you saw a hospital-based series on British TV? Oh sure, we have Casualty, and Holby City after that – but what I’m looking for is a committment to putting even more of these delightful programmes on. If the British public are anything like me, they’ll lap it up!”
Thompson was also at pains to explain that he sees the BBC’s Saturday night programming schedule as the jewel in the corporation’s crown.
“The way I see it,” he said, “is that we’ve got a Lottery show hosted by people’s favourite Dale Winton in which a succession of lobotomised cretins are asked the sort of questions you typically see in a primary school test.
“All this, while playing loud, jazzy music, and flashing strobe lights. It’s a winning combination, and one of the reasons we’ve decided to make these cuts is to ensure that high quality programming like this continues. There’s no need for originality or diversity at the BBC – surely you must know that?”
Jason Winchfield, 27, a BBC licence payer from Halifax said: “If I see Dale sodding Winton on my TV one more time, I swear I’ll do something I might regret.”
A BBC spokesperson refused to comment on speculation that BBC News 24 was to be axed in favour of a 24-hour police and hospital drama channel.