David Tennant blasts Tory demand for TV shows to ‘reflect British values’


David Tennant is absolutely baffled by requirement to make British TV shows (Picture: David Fisher/REX)

David Tennant has blasted the Government’s calls to demand broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to make ‘distinctly British’ programmes.

Former media minister John Whittingdale announced new regulations making it a legal requirement for the top public broadcasters to produce shows that reflect Britain and British values.

In September, Mr Whittingdale cited programmes such as Great British Bake Off, Downton Abbey, Top Gear, Only Fools and Horses and Doctor Who as prime examples of classically British shows.

Apparently the new rules will encourage PSBs to make content that was ‘iconic, not generic’.

Despite being the former star of one of the MP’s shining examples, playing Doctor Who between 2005 and 2010, Tennant was baffled by the decision-making.

‘Is there some inherent criticism within this plea for more Britishness? Did Britishness mean “made in Britain” or programmes that have a certain political viewpoint?’ he queried to Radio Times.

Doctor Who is apparently among the shows that reflects ‘British values’ (Picture: BBC Studios/Ben Blackall)
What does ‘distinctly British’ programming mean for TV? (Picture: BBC)

‘Is it just a government pleading for the artist to be more sympathetic towards it? Why would the Government feel they need more sympathy directed towards them?

‘Perhaps that’s a question they should ask themselves, rather than trying to blame it on the television industry.’

In response to Tennant’s comments, a Department for Culture, Media & Sport spokesperson said: ‘This has absolutely nothing to do with the portrayal of government or political viewpoints on TV.

‘It is right that public service broadcasters continue making shows which reflect modern Britain and allow audiences across the UK to see people representative of them and their way of life on screen.’

They previously told Metro.co.uk: ‘We firmly believe that TV should reflect modern Britain.

‘These plans aim to make sure public service broadcasters continue producing shows which allow people from all backgrounds and every part of the UK to see people representative of them and their way of life on screen.’

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