The following article contains sensitive language which may not be suitable for younger readers.
As I’m sure many Brits reading this will agree, the BBC is a major part of the British cultural landscape, and has been an integral part of the British broadcasting complexion. Now though, the UK government is looking into mechanisms to save money at the broadcaster, which may unfortunately result in cuts to programming. None other than the UK Eurovision commentator and face of Eurovision, Graham Norton, has come into the fray and sought to defend the public broadcaster from potential budget slashes.
“Just put £24 into everyone’s bank account, and switch the BBC off for two months, and people would shit themselves,” the popular broadcaster told the Daily Telegraph.
It’s hard for me, because I should be able to be very vocal in my defence of the BBC, and kind of go, ‘Let’s treasure this thing. Let’s not have it dismantled’. But of course, everyone goes, ‘Well you would say that, wouldn’t you?’ But having spent time in other countries, I see that the BBC is amazing. That it is incredible. It’s just that my voice has no weight in that debate. It’s a really perilous time for the BBC. The trouble is that every government hates the BBC. The BBC will criticise the government, and so there is that slight, ‘Well, if you’re not with us, you must be against it’. The BBC is one of those things people will not understand until it’s gone. And then they’ll be going, ‘Oh, telly’s a bit shit. This is a weird period drama – there’s only two people in it and no cars’.
In recent weeks the current government of the United Kingdom has sought to cut funding for the public and national broadcaster for the Eurovision Song Contest in the country. Graham Norton is in fact the highest paid talent on the BBC roster, so hopefully his words and actions will influence a resurgence in support for the broadcaster.
What does this mean for Eurovision? Probably very little. The contest remains popular and is still cheap programming for the organisation, but the recent budget cuts and uncertainty over funding for the BBC should be of concern for every fan, viewer and observer of the organisation. It’s safe to say that investments into a new selection for the UK entry or a further development of the entry selection process would be unlikely for 2016.
How do you feel about recent BBC budget cuts? Would it be a shame for the organisation to experience restrictions? Share your thoughts below or join the discussion on our forum!