The vex factor: BBC produces 'almost identical programmes to those by ITV', MPs are told - by ITV

ITV makes complaint in its submission into the Culture Committee's inquiry into the future of the BBC

Media Editor

ITV has complained to MPs that the BBC is drawing on the programme formats of its commercial rivals for ideas, instead of making original shows.

In a stinging attack submitted to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the future of the BBC, ITV has questioned why the corporation commissioned the global show The Voice, which originated in Holland, and accuses it of a lack of “distinctiveness or innovation” in its schedules.

“The BBC’s pursuit of audience share regardless of distinctiveness or innovation has been evident where the BBC has rushed to commission or produce almost identical programmes to those by ITV, and then has scheduled them against ITV’s planned transmissions, on one occasion forcing ITV to reschedule to avoid serious commercial damage,” it complains. 

“In addition to this we can see no obvious justification for the BBC commissioning existing formats such as The Voice for the UK audience, just as the BBC has recognised that there is nothing particularly distinctive about simply acquiring US content.”

ITV also accuses the BBC of missing an opportunity to innovate when it dropped children’s programmes from its afternoon schedule last year.

‘X Factor’ judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Gary Barlow (Thames TV) ‘X Factor’ judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Gary Barlow (Thames TV)
“Instead the BBC has primarily sought to increase the audience share of the channel by commissioning further large blocks of factual entertainment including Flog It!Escape to the Country and Bargain Hunt – shows that originated in the early 2000s,” says ITV.

“Consequently, BBC1’s daytime audience share has grown since it removed children’s programming from the schedule, now at 20.8 per cent, compared to 18.5 per cent in 2012 but without much obvious attempt to deliver innovation or distinctiveness.”

The BBC responded to ITV’s criticism in a statement which said: “Research shows that not only is there strong public support for the BBC showing a wide range of content and funded by the licence fee, but also that in countries where public service broadcasting is strong, commercial broadcasting is also strong.”

ITV’s rebuke is one of many from a wide range of organisations calling for changes at the BBC in more than 70 written submissions to the committee.

Naturist complaints

British Naturism wants to see less “prudishness” at the BBC. “It is not coincidence that the more prudish western countries, of which the UK is one, have body attitude related outcomes that are appalling compared to those countries with more wholesome attitudes,” it said, complaining about the historically inaccurate addition of clothing in certain scenes in Andrew Marr’s History of the World series.

British Naturism criticised 'Andrew Marr’s History of the World' (BBC) British Naturism criticised 'Andrew Marr’s History of the World' (BBC)
Equity, the actors’ union, complains of the effect of cuts on the BBC’s drama output. “Cuts have already led to the end of original drama on BBC4 and a decline in radio drama, in which the UK leads the world.”

Directors UK, which represents some of the biggest names in British filmmaking, called on the BBC to increase the wages of freelance directors and to “manage and eradicate the culture of micro-management of programme production which has taken root and is still prevalent”.

RadioCentre, which represents much of the commercial radio sector, complains that “the BBC has explicitly chosen to use its vastly greater spending power to grow audience of its flagship national music services Radio 1 and Radio 2 rather than invest in content which does more to deliver distinctive public service output”.

The Scottish Newspaper Society rails against the BBC’s impact on its business models, notably in the Northern Isles. “In both Orkney and Shetland, the BBC has a dedicated radio station but the operations are not limited to broadcast or indeed on its own digital platforms. With the use of social media like Facebook, the BBC is now publishing material which previously would have been the preserve of the local Press, The Orcadian and The Shetland Times.”

But other organisations, from the Musicians’ Union to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, praise the BBC for the role it plays in British life.

The contributions also include many submissions from individuals. Some, such as Raymond Bona, complain of “flagrant” bias and say the BBC should be called the “Labour Broadcasting Corporation”. Others, such as Rory Hegarty, protest that the BBC’s coverage of the last election was “astonishingly pro-Conservative”.

Phil Redmond, creator of former Channel 4 soap Brookside, says the BBC must adapt its Reithian values of “educate, inform and entertain” for the Internet age. “The digital mantra should be to ‘inform, entertain and connect’.”

Complaints, collected: What the BBC's rivals really hate

The Voice

ITV complains that the show, which originated in Holland and is shown in more than 40 territories, is not the kind of format which the BBC should be spending licence fee money on. “We can see no obvious justification for the BBC commissioning existing formats such as The Voice for the UK audience,” the commercial broadcaster told MPs.

Andrew Marr’s History of the World

The former BBC political editor’s magnum opus for BBC1 has fallen foul of British Naturism for its “systematic falsification of history” by showing native people emerging from forests wearing clothes. The BBC told the society that it had covered its actors up in order not to offend “the sensitivities of the widest possible world audience”.

Radio 3

According to Classic FM, the BBC station has looked to its commercial rivals for programme ideas, such as a CD of the Week, an album chart and a film music show. “There has been a creeping popularisation of BBC Radio 3’s output over the past few years, with the effect that the clear gap between it and Classic FM has been gradually eroded,” it moaned.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

BI Analyst

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency in Central Lo...

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears