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HomeTv & Show'A mistake' BBC admits to breaking ‘impartiality’ rules Russell T Davies interview

'A mistake' BBC admits to breaking ‘impartiality’ rules Russell T Davies interview

During the BAFTAs in May, Channel 4’s It’s A Sin creator Russell T Davies hit out at the current government during the prestigious event. His remarks were screened in a report on the BBC News Channel which prompted one viewer to point out their impartiality error.

The 59-year-old didn’t hold back when he went on an anti-Tory rant during this year’s BAFTA TV ceremony where his Channel 4 show was nominated for a wave of awards.

When he spoke about It’s A Sin’s success, he commented it was created on a channel the government is planning to “sell-off”.

Russell appeared on the red carpet alongside the 14th Dr Who star Ncuti Gatwa, who he’ll be working alongside when writing the upcoming series, before sharing his opinions.

Speaking about the show, which focuses on a group of friends surrounding the HIV/Aids epidemic, he said: “Of course, it was made on a channel that the government is going to sell off, while they’re also planning to get rid of the BBC licence fee.”

“So, if you like shows like this, go and vote differently, that’s what I say,” Russell added.

After his comments were shown on the BBC, one viewer complained the broadcaster was in breach of their own impartiality guidelines as the comments were not being put into “proper context”.

Since the complaint was made, the BBC have admitted they were in breach of their guidelines.

The broadcaster has its own editorial guidelines which make up their core values and standards which includes remaining impartial in all content that gets put out.

On Wednesday, a statement from the corporation said: “The reporter and producer were on location at the awards ceremony rather than at New Broadcasting House where the material was edited together.

“The reporter’s commentary was designed to introduce a remark about Doctor Who, but a different clip was selected by mistake.

“The strong political view it included was not balanced by any reflection of government policy during the news channel’s coverage of the BAFTAs that evening, and was therefore in breach of the BBC’s requirement to show impartiality on politically controversial matters.”

This is not the first time Russell has slammed the government’s current plan to privatise Channel 4.

During an acceptance speech at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, the writer referred to the Tory government as a “wounded” dog when mentioning their plans to sell it off.

Speaking to the audience, the It’s A Sin creator added the show was made by a public service broadcaster that was dedicated to making similar content.

He said:  “I know the government is wounded at the moment, it’s like a wounded dog and a wounded dog bites everyone and rabies will spread. It’s still in danger.”

Before calling the decision wrong, Russell added: “They said they are selling Channel 4 and they’ve said they’re stopping the licence fee by 2027.

“We have to realise the things the Tories say they’ll do, they do, they’re very good at that. 

“We’re full of doubt, they’re not, they will do this. This is wrong.”

It’s A Sin is available to stream on All4

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