Following on from the hugely successful premiere of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor on Doctor Who last weekend, the BBC has pledged a commitment to bringing more female stories and experiences to TV in the future.
Speaking at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture tonight (October 11), the BBC‘s Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, explained that the broadcaster had more than doubled the amount of dramas by female writers it had commissioned in the last two years – and promised a lot more to come.
“45% of the dramas we’ve commissioned at the BBC in the last two years are from female writers… It’s not 50:50, yet, but it’s more than double where we were in the past,” Moore said in her speech, adding that we’re “just at the start of a very long journey to address a huge historical failing of female voices”.
“There’s a whole generation of female stories, perspectives and experiences that’s coming to the surface. It’s our responsibility to make that generation heard – and help them inspire a new generation in turn,” she continued.
“They bring with them a promise of a society that is fairer, better, and more equal than ever before.”
Moore continued to cite the reactions to Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor as just one of the reasons why a focus on female-led dramas is important, referring to one viral clip in particular.
“I defy anyone who saw that viral video of the little girl, waiting for the new Doctor Who to be unveiled – who witnessed the expression on her face when she shouted: ‘The new doctor is a girl’ – not to think we’ve done something good and inspirational,” she added.
As well as a commitment to female voices on screen, Moore also promised to continue to ensure that “authentic, British stories” are told on the BBC, saying that she believes “British stories told by British voices matter more than ever before”.
She also challenged the rise of Netflix and Amazon (and their spending costs once again), saying they’re “not going to help” in getting British stories told.
“Their investment into new UK programmes is only around £150 million a year. Less than 10% of their catalogues is made up of content produced in the UK,” Moore continued.
“The Crown may be a wonderful example of a big global player telling a British story, but it’s also a rare one.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Moore also promised a few exciting things coming up, including Blue Planet Live – a follow-up to the brilliant Blue Planet II described as a “stripped TV event” that will revisit the wildlife and stories of the series and find out what happened next – as well as a second season of Killing Eve.
“I’m pleased to say that we’re not going to have to wait quite so long next time,” Moore shared. “It’s back on the BBC next year for season two.”
So, all in all, it sounds like the BBC has some great plans for the future – we can’t wait.
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