BBC boss Tony Hall says actors should mutter less

Hall says: 'You have to remember that you have an audience'

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The Independent Culture

The BBC boss has said the corporation should do more to stop actors "muttering" in its dramas, saying some older people struggle to keep up.

Director-General Tony Hall told the Radio Times that the corporation was trying to address the problem of background music making it difficult for viewers to hear what is being said in programmes.

He said: “You are balancing people's needs as they get older... with the creative need of a director to put in music or other sounds that help to make the drama or the programme more real and vital.

“Danny Cohen (director of television) has been going through this with executive producers to try to get this better, and I think the complaints are much, much reduced.”

He added: “Actors muttering can be testing - you find you have missed a line... you have to remember that you have an audience.”

The former Royal Opera House boss also confirmed that the BBC planned to stop squashing credits at the end of programmes, after complaints that the end of a show was being tainted by adverts for other shows.

“We're changing it. It's the curtain call.

“You want to make sure that the creative team get their proper bow. So we have got a new way of doing it, starting right away.”

He said that viewers should expect to see the profile of arts and culture raised within the BBC and hinted that there could be more Shakespeare adaptations.

On the subject of radio drama, he said that Radio 4 would be adapting Jane Austen's Sense And Sensibility.