BBC says TV chat shows face axe
Wednesday 24 February 1999
Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey, queen of the "confessional" chat show, has promised to revamp her programme because of her regrets over making guests cry and giving a platform to the Ku-Klux-Klan.
Sir Christopher Bland, the BBC chairman, defended the BBC's daytime chat shows in a speech to the television industry last night, but warned that they would be pulled off air if they become "entertainment for entertainment's sake."
Earlier this month it was revealed that guests on The Vanessa Show on BBC1 were actresses hired from a theatrical agency pretending to be members of the public.
In a speech to the Royal Television Society, Sir Christopher said: "These programmes need to remember their public purposes - the moment they become focused on entertainment for entertainment's sake, they lose their value, their integrity, their point - and will lose their place in the BBC's schedules.
"[The] issue is whether daytime chat shows have any place in the mixed economy of a public service broadcaster. I think they do, and they can meet a real audience need. The best of them are good examples of how popularity and public service can be complementary."
Sir Christopher was speaking on the day that Oprah Winfrey, host of the most successful daytime chat show in America, admitted regret about some items she had broadcast on her programme.
"I've been guilty of misusing television," she told the Radio Times. "It is a dangerous medium and is misused all the time. There are shows I should never have put on air. When I had the Ku-Klux-Klan members on and they called me `nigger' and `little monkey' in the break, I realised I'm not going to change these lunatics, so I need to be more careful who I empower by giving a platform."
She said she also regretted a show where a man confessed to his wife that his mistress was pregnant: "The look on the wife's face broke my heart."
Ms Winfrey attacked the vulgarity of her American rival Jerry Springer, whose shows she described as being "like a Roman circus".
But despite saying earlier this month that she was getting out of television before someone was killed live on air, Ms Winfrey said her research into slavery for a film role has made her change her mind: "I've come from a people who had no voice, money or shoes to run, but they ran anyway. How dare I say I felt tired?"
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...