It has been announced that BBC Four is under threat to be axed from distribution. British actor Sanjeev Bhaskar is strongly opposing the campaign to ensure that the UK channel is not annulled as BBC heads prepare to make cuts. Bhaskar have since commented stating: “The only channel that fits the Reithian principle of ‘educate, inform & entertain.’”
With so many British viewers subscribing to online channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime with the success of American series like Orange is the New Black (2013-), House of Cards (2013-) and Transparent (2014-), it is evident that the television market is rapidly changing with many modifications at hand. This rapid change urges the BBC to have a longer run of shows in order to compete otherwise a main option is to close one of its most popular channels.
Director-General of the BBC, Lord Hall, have commented on the issue stating that there have been “tough choices ahead” with “bigger and bolder” selections to be made. However, following the success of BBC series like Poldark (2015-) and Peaky Blinders (2013-), it is still questionable as to whether the cancellation will go through.
BBC Four has been home to many Nordic Noir series such as Arne Dahl (2012-), Beck (1997-) and The Bridge, which has been one of the most acclaimed shows to air on the UK channel. Borgen (2010-13) and The Killing (2007-10) were also shows released previously on BBC Four with millions watching every week.
Many have taken to Twitter using the hashtage #savebbc4 in an urge to save the channels with known names coming to its defence. Singer-songwriter Marc Almod tweeted “Surely not, it’s one of the best Beeb channels. Soon there’ll be no Beeb for me to have a carrer on.” In addition, actor Rufus Jones commented: “Owe so much to #BBC4. No other channel would have made #HolyFlyingCircus. Say it ain’t so.”
It was revealed last month that BBC Four equalled £66million last year whereas BBC One was close to £1.3billon.
Sign the petition to save BBC Four here – keep up with news on Twitter by following the hashtag #savebbc4.