Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi says BBC should invest more in regional dramas

'As the BBC is paid for by the entirety of the nation, that should be reflected in its content more'

Adam Sherwin
Media Correspondent
@adamsherwin10
Tuesday 22 March 2016 01:47
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Capaldi said the ‘entirety of the nation should be reflected in the BBC’s content’
Capaldi said the ‘entirety of the nation should be reflected in the BBC’s content’

The exotic locations featured in hit drama The Night Manager have proved as attractive to viewers as Tom Hiddleston’s undercover spy. But the Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has called on the BBC to spend more licence-fee money telling stories which reflect real life in Britain’s regions.

Asked what he would change if he was placed in charge of the BBC and given £8bn to spend, Capaldi told Radio Times: “’I’d have more regional drama. As the BBC is paid for by the entirety of the nation, that should be reflected in its content more.”

The actor added: “High-quality writing and production should be both encouraged and experienced by people all over the country.”

Capaldi’s plea comes as the BBC is winning plaudits for high-quality dramas, set in dramatic overseas locations, which are primed for international sales.

The Night Manager on BBC1 has had viewers drooling over the opulent lair owned by the villainous Roper (Hugh Laurie), a 17th century fort in northern Majorca which is Spain’s most expensive property.

The £18m le Carré thriller followed another international co-production War & Peace, which utilised sumptuous locations in St Petersburg and Latvia to tell Tolstoy’s sweeping Russian tale.

The BBC said those productions were not at the cost of dramas which shine a spotlight on the UK’s town and cities.

The acclaimed Happy Valley has boosted tourism to the picturesque Yorkshire market town of Hebden Bridge, the location for the gritty police drama, despite the disproportionate number of murderers apparently operating in the locale.

Nearby Leeds is the location for a second BBC1 series of Kay Mellor’s drama In The Club, about six couples who had bond at a local parenting class.

‘The Night Manager’ cast: (from left) Hugh Laurie, Hiddleston, Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Colman and Tom Hollander (BBC)

The Lake District provides the backdrop for The A Word, Peter Bowker’s new drama about the challenge a family faces when their 5-year-old son is diagnosed with autism.

The BBC recently returned to Shetland for the Scottish murder mystery named after the windswept Isles. However much of the filming took place on mainland locations doubling as the Zetlandic archipelago.

A final instalment of The Fall on BBC2, will return to Belfast for the denouement of the detective drama starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan as the serial killer she hunts down.

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