All Sections

Why would the BBC launch ‘a channel for Ukip voters’ in Poland?

A new, pretty awful-sounding BBC channel is coming, but don’t worry! It’s not launching in the UK. Ever. 

BBC Brit is the name of a new BBC channel that aims to cater for men aged 25-44, according to leaked documents seen by The Independent’s listicle arm i100. 

The new channel apparently wants to be “the televisual equivalent of the best conversation in the bar and it blends expertise with entertainment and fact with fun” in a manner that appeals to the modern man. The modern man is apparently “covered head to toe in lycra at the weekend, his biggest competitor is his own PB.” 

It aims to mine the same laddish seam that’s been successfully tapped by Dave since 2007. It’s mission statement is to be ‘the most interesting conversation in the bar’. Hey BBC Brit, the home of witty banter called and it wants its pint of cheap lager back. 

According to a mystery source, the word ‘broceanography’ has been bandied about in meetings. On paper it sounds dreadful as to i100’s Dana Rickman and Caroline Criado Perez as it does to me. 

But the Twitter pitchfork mobs can stand down, because BBC Brit isn’t coming to UK screens anytime soon. 

Why would the BBC launch ‘a channel for Ukip voters’ in Poland?
Not coming soon to an EPG near you.

After all, why would it? It’s made by BBC Worldwide, the part of the corporation that sells BBC content abroad as a way to earn extra revenue outside what can be raised from licence fee payments.  

The licence fee, in case you haven’t noticed, hasn’t gone up these last few years and could be for the high jump if certain MPs get their way. This has caused the BBC to embark on a number of cost-saving measures including the unpopular decision to cannibalise BBC Three and move the remains online

And so it falls to channels like BBC Brit to pull in the dough while culture secretary Sajid Javid leans back in his chair, steeples his fingers and mutters ‘excellent’. Possibly. 

As the documents obtained by the i100 state, Top Gear is one of the BBC’s top shows. In 2012 it broke records for being the most watched factual TV show in the world. Let that fact sink in for a second. The entire planet collectively decided in 2012 that watching Jezza and the gang trade knob jokes was one of the best ways to kill time. 

Given that BBC Brit will also serve up Mock the Week alongside Room 101, it’s probably going to do really well. And I hope it does. 

While it sounds like kryptonite to me personally, I hope the new channel is lapped up by millions of Polish viewers and makes a stack of cash for the Beeb. If it does, then the corporation might not have to measure a coffin for BBC Four, a channel I enjoy watching.  

So it’s pretty short sighted to write BBC Brit off as ‘a channel for Ukip voters’ when a) Ukip voters can’t actually watch it and b) that observation is based on a survey that shows that more Ukip voters thought Clarkson has made a negative impact on politics debate than positive. 

BBC Brit might be your idea of TV hell, but it could be just the thing that saves your idea of TV heaven from the cutting room floor. 

Comments