Top BBC stars paid thousands to host private events

Presenter Andrew Marr earned at least £5,000 for Zoom call with wealth manager, documents reveal Big businesses are paying leading BBC news presenters tens of thousands of pounds to host events, according to newly released documents that show how financial institutions are employing the public broadcaster’s leading stars. Andrew Marr, the £360,000-a-year host of BBC […]

Line of Duty finale draws record 12.8 million UK TV audience

BBC hints it is open to another series, despite muted response to last episode with word ‘disappointing’ trending A record 12.8 million viewers tuned in for the final episode of series six of the hit BBC One drama Line of Duty when it aired on Sunday night. Commanding 56.2% of the UK’s television audience, according […]

Peaky Blinders investigated over alleged breach of Covid protocols

Producers accused of putting crew at risk after staff member allegedly continued on set after positive test Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders is being investigated over claims it has broken Covid-19 safety rules. The producers have been accused of putting some of the show’s crew […]

Bid to stop Paul Dacre taking over at TV regulator

Industry and government figures stage 11th-hour effort to prevent former Mail editor being appointed chair of Ofcom A last-ditch campaign to stop former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre becoming chair of Britain’s national broadcasting regulator is being waged in Whitehall, the Observer understands. After a final shortlist of candidates was interviewed last week, industry and […]

Lily James: ‘All sorts of people can become great loves of your life’

The actor on her role in the BBC’s new Nancy Mitford adaptation, the joy of female friendship, and preparing to play Baywatch star Pamela Anderson Lily James was born Lily Thomson in Esher, Surrey, in 1989. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and made her TV debut as Ethel Brown in […]

Charlotte Higgins on The Archers: deliver me from model railways and superheroes

Tony Archer practised male bonding over his train set, while Alice has walked out on husband and baby, hopefully to dry out There have been times these past weeks when The Archers has been almost too traumatic to hear. I refer, of course, to the upsetting scenes in which Tony Archer, Ambridge’s dreariest man, practised […]

Brazen, destructive, aggressive: how does Boris Johnson get away with it? | Andy Beckett

While Thatcher had to face down the unions, northern England and a confident BBC, this prime minister has few constraints Since the beginning, one of the most striking aspects of Boris Johnson’s government has been its brazenness. The Downing Street press briefing room redecorated in Tory blue, regeneration funds crudely funnelled towards Tory towns, the […]

The Winter’s Tale review – RSC and BBC film is a purist version of theatre on screen

BBC iPlayer Covid-postponed production moves the play to the 1950s but lacks the inventiveness of the National’s recent Romeo and Juliet This RSC production opens in a 20th-century Sicilia and modernises the play’s themes of paranoid leadership and patriarchal abuse in subtle yet powerful ways. The word “tyranny” sounds emphatic here, jumping out again and […]

Archbishop of York commits C of E to racial justice after ‘sobering’ week

Stephen Cottrell says past week, including BBC exposé on church, has been a watershed moment The archbishop of York has committed the Church of England to racial justice, saying the past week has been a “watershed moment” with the conviction in the US of George Floyd’s killer and the airing of a BBC television documentary […]

The history of women’s rugby (and why it is finally having its moment)

From Victorian pitch invasions, bans and moral outrage to a prime BBC slot, women’s rugby is finally getting the recognition it deserves. But, says legendary player Danielle Waterman, there’s more to be done Danielle Waterman can tell you just how far women’s rugby union has come. Her 82-cap England career as fullback spanned two of […]

Release Dubai’s Princess Latifa, UN experts tell UAE

Statement comes two months after BBC video in which Dubai ruler’s daughter said she was being held hostage UN experts have demanded that the United Arab Emirates provide information about a daughter of Dubai’s ruler and release her, two months after the BBC published a video of Princess Latifa describing herself as a hostage in […]

How Prince Philip was turned into a pawn in the phoney culture wars | Stewart Lee

Sarah Vine’s tribute to the duke showed how even the saddest of events can be press-ganged into the Tories’ divisive agenda Once, Richard Thomas’s Jerry Springer the Opera, to which I contributed unpopular elements, held the TV hate record, with 62,000 complaints. But last week it was out-hated by the BBC’s saturation coverage of Prince […]

Call the Midwife review – still shining after all these years

It’s been on our screens for a decade, but the BBC’s period drama remains as radical and relevant as ever Call the Midwife (BBC One) is a reliable old workhorse. Even as it reaches its 10th series – with the BBC recently announcing that there are at least two more to come – it continues […]

We need a proper debate about TV diversity, instead we get ludicrous arguments | Ellen E Jones

The BBC’s head of creative diversity made a valid point about Idris Elba’s Luther. That’s not how it was reported Luther first aired on BBC One more than a decade ago, yet it’s still the focus for debate about Black representation in British television. Why? Because it’s still one of a handful of examples of […]

The Guardian view on Line of Duty: more about politics than policing | Editorial

It’s no surprise that a story about corruption in public life is so popular Last year the phrase “ambient television” was coined to describe a category of inoffensive, picturesque and essentially undemanding shows, such as Netflix’s Emily in Paris: programmes that could be experienced as background while the viewer scrolled through social media. Now, with […]

Cameron passed a lobbying act, but it was never meant to curb corruption | Polly Toynbee

Instead of targeting the powerful, the 2014 act was designed to silence charities, protectors of the powerless Nothing should surprise us in the outright dishonesty of Boris Johnson’s Commons replies. But on Wednesday at PMQs, caught in the deepening glue trap of sleaze, he tried lashing out at Labour for voting against the 2014 lobbying […]

All That Glitters review – can ‘Bake Off for jewellery’ sparkle?

While the presenter and judges might look a little uncomfortable, thankfully the contestants in BBC Two’s new crafting contest are pure gold Call it the potter’s wheel genre, after the most famous of the BBC’s “interlude” films: five-minute stretches of lightly engaging and soothing footage shown in the 40s and 50s to cover breaks between […]

Reeta Chakrabarti rejects Jeremy Paxman’s claim ‘any fool’ can read news

The BBC presenter did not agree that newsreading is a job for ‘an articulated suit’ The BBC presenter Reeta Chakrabarti has said that presenting a news bulletin is a skilled job, after Jeremy Paxman claimed that “any fool” could do it. Paxman has made a series of criticisms of the BBC and television news since […]

BBC’s Prince Philip coverage breaks UK TV complaints record

110,000 people have complained, mostly about excess but also about Andrew, attire – and ease of complaining The BBC’s wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip’s death has become the most complained-about moment in British television history, as viewers expressed their annoyance that shows such as EastEnders and MasterChef were replaced with royal tributes. At least 110,994 […]

BBC pulls Prince Philip online form after complaints hit peak

Ratings plummeted after decision to axe Friday night favourites following announcement of duke’s death The BBC has taken down an online form used to process complaints about blanket coverage of Prince Philip’s death after the number of complaints reached a peak. Planned scheduling has been back in place since 2pm on Saturday, after BBC One […]

Prince Philip: respect and restraint required after duke’s death | Letters

Martin Buckley, Carl Gardner, Margaret Vandecasteele and Pete Bibby on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and media coverage of it “Inevitably he will be remembered for the gaffes,” BBC TV told me on Friday. I interviewed the Duke of Edinburgh for the BBC over 20 years ago for a documentary presented by George […]

BBC flooded with complaints over coverage of Prince Philip’s death

Corporation opened dedicated complaints form on its website to deal with high volume of comments Viewers switched off their TVs in droves after broadcasters aired blanket coverage of Prince Philip’s death, audience figures revealed on Saturday, and the BBC received so many complaints it opened a dedicated complaints form on its website. BBC One and […]

Sadie review – lockdown Belfast drama is hilarious and harrowing

Available on BBC iPlayerProvocative playwright David Ireland returns with a slow-burn character study screened as part of the BBC’s Lights Up festival In Cyprus Avenue (2016) and Ulster American (2018), which won awards and caused walkouts, David Ireland established a signature tone of farcical nightmare. Ulster Unionists (his own community) are driven to outlandish non-paramilitary […]

Newsreader Simon McCoy to join GB News after leaving BBC

Presenter known for sardonic asides will host afternoon programme on new rightwing channel The BBC newsreader Simon McCoy is leaving the corporation to join GB News, as the forthcoming rightwing news channel continues a hiring spree ahead of its launch this summer. The presenter, best known to BBC viewers through viral clips of him offering […]

The Guardian view on women’s football: the new deal is a gamechanger | Editorial

A decision by the BBC and Sky to invest £8m a year in the Women’s Super League puts the sport on a far stronger footing In one sense it’s been a long time coming. Advocates of women’s football in England spent most of the last decade pushing for broadcasters and the Football Association to take […]

BBC chief told to use ‘more than one union jack’ in annual report

Tory MP asks Tim Davie how many union flags were pictured in the corporation’s financial document Tim Davie, the BBC’s director-general, has been taken to task by a Conservative MP for failing to include images of the union jack in the corporation’s annual report. After last week’s row between the Tories and the BBC over […]

WSL broadcast deal ‘a celebration of women’s football’, says Emma Hayes

Chelsea manager happy some money will go towards refereeing Deal with BBC and Sky Sports worth £24m over three years The Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, has said the new historic broadcast rights deal for the Women’s Super League – worth in the region of £24m over three years – was “vindication for all the work […]

Clive Myrie to replace John Humphrys as Mastermind host

Quizshow has been presented exclusively by men since it started in 1972 Broadcaster Clive Myrie will replace John Humphrys as the host of the long-running quizshow Mastermind. Myrie will be the fifth host of the BBC show – which marks its 50th anniversary next year – when he takes over from Humphrys, who has been […]