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Blunkett wants broadcasters to dub rather than subtitle foreign dramas


David Blunkett has called on broadcasters to dub more foreign dramas so that blind members of the audience like himself are able to enjoy imports such as The Killing.

Writing in the Radio Times, the former Cabinet Minister said he found the amount of foreign dramas and documentaries broadcast with subtitles but not available in dubbed versions, “incredibly frustrating”.

“There is an increasing tendency for overseas material to be broadcast without being dubbed,” Mr Blunkett wrote. “That’s difficult enough for French and German programmes, but with the trend for excellent crime and political dramas from Scandinavia, it’s simply impossible for most of us.

“I would have loved to enjoy The Killing and Borgen, but both shows were screened on BBC4 with English subtitles and no over-dubbing. I appreciate that many people don’t like dubbed dialogue, but if you’re blind it’s invaluable – you can piece together the storylines simply by listening to what is said.”

Mr Blunkett also called for broadcasters to invest in higher quality subtitling for deaf viewers.

He quoted an example from a football commentary which read: “The Arsenal player has been fouled by a zebra.” It was actually a garbled transcription error for Patrice Evra, the Manchester United defender.