United Kingdom

Former BBC executive admits corporation 'over-caters' to 60-year-old white men from the south

A former BBC executive said the corporation ‘over-caters’ to 60-year-old southern white men.

Stuart Murphy, now boss of the English National Opera, said the ‘tide had changed’ and this group could no longer dominate. 

Speaking on Radio 4’s The Media Show, Mr Murphy, the former boss of BBC3, said: ‘I look at what the BBC offers and if you’re a sort of mid-60-year-old white guy in southern England you’re over-catered for.

Stuart Murphy, now boss of the English National Opera, said the ‘tide had changed’ and this group could no longer dominate (file photo of the BBC's headquarters in London)

‘You’ve got BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Radio 2, 3, 4, Radio 5 and lots of BBC News. They’re also the most vocal complainants. 

'I think the tide has changed in society and it’s no longer just the loudest people in their 50s and 60s who can dominate what the media output should be.’ 

He added: ‘There’s not lots for people under-25 on BBC airwaves apart from BBC3’.

When discussing the future of BBC4, Mr Murphy said: ‘Personally, I think Sky Arts does a brilliant job, I think lots of stuff on BBC4 could run really comfortably on BBC2.’

Mr Murphy said: 'I think the tide has changed in society and it’s no longer just the loudest people in their 50s and 60s who can dominate what the media output should be' (file photo)

He added: ‘I think the BBC needs to cater for absolutely everyone and younger audiences at the moment have big shows on BBC1 like EastEnders and Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra cater for them, but other than that there’s not lots for people under-25 on BBC airwaves apart from BBC3.’

Mr Murphy who launched BBC3 in 2003, was appointed chief executive of the English National Opera in March 2018.

He was discussing the corporation’s reinstatement of BBC3 as a broadcast TV channel, after ‘the worst decision’ to turn it online-only in 2016.

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