Where will the axe fall?

The BBC Chairman has made it clear no part of the BBC will be immune to its cuts programme and that this will mean fewer programmes. What will be the impact in the local BBC and what areas will suffer the most?

  • Noland

    There will be some “capacity reduction” in BBC NI but the axe is likely to fall on non-programming making areas where staff numbers have grown in the last decade. Watch out too for changing programme priorities coming up. There are persistent rumours of a reduction in the number of political programmes which all seem to cover the same territory – Let’s Talk, Hearts & Minds, Stormont Live, the Politics Show, Spotlight – none of which gets a fantastic audience. Give My Head Peace has already been decommissioned, time for a few more to go the same way.

  • Séamaí

    Most cuts will be behind the scenes but programming will also be affected.

    BBC Four could go, so too could some smaller local radio stations in England. Maybe a few of them will amalgamate.

    And maybe here thon boyo Drenan could take a very long Dander and fall off the new schedule. That would be a worthwhile ‘efficiency’!

  • Outsider

    Noland

    I am inclinded to agree with what you have said, its good to know rubbish like ‘Give my head peace’ has been axed, I feel lets talk could also go as well as the politics show.

    There are a large number of rubbish Northern Ireland programmes on BBC such as a series on the Europa hotel, a reality programme with Stephen Nolan which seeks to put people who dont want to work into jobs and some of ther other reality type programmes centred around NI.

  • GavBelfast

    I’m certainly glad to see the back of ‘Give My Head Peace’. Was it ever original?

    There’s also no point in these local versions of other reality-type shows which the public are going off anyway.

    As for radio, Nolan’s onto TalkBack territory anyway, but Radio Ulster (and Foyle) aren’t bad overall, and radio’s enjoying a revival anyway.

    I would imagine the BBC will do their utmost to keep BBC Four (and Three).

  • Outsider

    Some of Northern Ireland produced programmes are quite good such as ‘Hearts and Minds’ and ‘Folks on the Hill’, I also enjoy ‘talk back’.

    There is however too much drivel such as the Hugo Duncan show which is painfully horrible and one could even be controversial and say that we have too much gaelic and while I would not want is banned I would like some more programmes to balance the scales.

  • jone

    The last round of cuts dealt with the non-programme areas; HR, IT and some Finance tasks have all been outsourced so there really ain’t much left to be trimmed there.

    The BBC have already said both Three and Four are safe and I doubt very much whether the political hassle of closing a few local radio stations is worth the relatively small saving which would be made. Local radio is probably the most efficient part of the BBC, it’s TV that eats money.

    Locally what’s most likely is that Factual will order shorter runs of any series they commission. There’ll also be more repeats.

    In terms of political programmes The Politics Show will have to stay as it’s an opt out of a Network strand. Let’s Talk is made by an indie so it will most like stay otherwise it becomes difficult for BBC NI to hit it’s indie commission target. Spotlight is still a journalistic flagship and does deliver decent audiences while Stormont Live is a public service obligation. So that leaves Hearts and Minds.

  • jone

    Outsider – too much gaelic football or Irish language programming?

  • Freddie w.belf

    I agree: hearts and minds should be cut from the schedule. What’s the point of it anymore? The theme tune is also now extremely annoying. I’d also do something about the appalling Alan Simpson Show. It’s about time the Beeb began to concentrate on the quality shows it has, not the daft attempts at commercial style popular shows.

    When thinking about cuts at BBC NI, I hope there’s a serious conversation about the managers and their salaries, not just about the shows. Why can’t we have a punlished list of the salaries of the Controller and other senior managers, alongside the main presenters. I’ve heard that many of the managers are earning more than the presenters! That doesn’t seem right, but BBC NI is a strange place.

  • KieranJ

    Jeffrey Archer.

    Oscar Wilde redux.

    A hundred years later,

  • Dawkins

    I’m glad to see the number of programmes being reduced. Frankly I’m seldom aware of what channel is showing what show. I see little distinction, apart perhaps from the ads, which I never listen to anyhow. There’s way too much “me too” scheduling in recent years. It’s a policy that’s led to a lot of junk programming, as each channel sought to ape the others.

    And will someone please tell me why the BBC are concerned with their viewing figures? They’ll still be subsidised if a show is watched only by the producer and her mum.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    Outsider

    While i may not be thrilled myself when “Uncle” Hugo declares that he “loves” me every day on the airwaves nevertheless i do recognise the appeal he has to other listeners not least because of his ratings and amount of listener participation.

    Agree with the point about the pathetic excuse of a presenter Alan Simpson.

    Who would have thought the local beeb could’ve found a more sicophantic bland waste of oxyegen than George Jones? but they managed it!

    Hopefully now that Jones found a home on U105 he won’t have any worries paying the mortgage on the ranch (literal) in Co. Down that he whined about when the beeb showed him the door.

    Gerry and Sean rule forever!

  • There is however too much drivel such as the Hugo Duncan show which is painfully horrible and one could even be controversial and say that we have too much gaelic and while I would not want is banned I would like some more programmes to balance the scales.

    GIven that there were only 17 hours of Irish language programming on BBC NI TV last year and that a goodly proportion of that came from the Irish Language Broadcast Fund – and not the licence fund – then the last thing that the BBC should be considering is a cut in the Irish language programming. Besides which SRL, the magazine flagship of Irish language programming – is far better than anything the station produces in English.

    On the contrary what’s required is a quantum leap in Irish language programming on BBC NI – to match the levels of programming in Wales/Scotland for Welsh and Scots Gaelic programming.

  • ulsterfan

    I have noted all the programmes to be axed and now declare that there is nothing left bar the news and long pauses for the rest of the day .

  • RG Cuan

    TOO MUCH GAELIC?

    Gaelic football is by far the most attended sport in NI, in fact the BBC could do more to illustrate this fact.

    And the lack of Irish language programming on BBC NI is shocking. Hopefully the BBC Trust will soon rectify this deficiency.

  • Dawkins

    Yes, RG. I’m told Michael O’Hehir isn’t doing too much at the moment. Could the Beeb not engage him as a commentator to spice up those Gaelic games?

  • George

    Dawkins,
    “Yes, RG. I’m told Michael O’Hehir isn’t doing too much at the moment. Could the Beeb not engage him as a commentator to spice up those Gaelic games?”

    Considering he is long dead I would doubt even the great Micheál O’Hehir would be able to spice up Ulster GAA matches.

  • Token Dissent

    What’s up with Sluggerites wanting BBC NI’s political output slashed? I agree that Let’s Talk is pretty consistently poor, but Hearts and Minds, Spotlight and the Politics Show should certainly be maintained. Maybe I need to get out more but I think these shows are working well. same goes for a lot of the output on BBC4. Viewing figures are important, but equally so is providing even a pretence of public service broadcasting.

    For what its worth I disagree with Freedie about Alan Simpson’s show. Its nice laid back afternoon radio – leave the big fella be!

  • Dawkins

    George,

    He is???!!!

    No wonder he’s been awfully quiet.

  • I know that this annoucement was made Sunday, and the announement didn’t make a mention of it, but on Any Questions (recorded Friday the 12th) there was a question about cuts in specific to it’s news gathering and children’s programming.

  • noland

    Sorry to break the news OILibhear Chromaill but even SRL has been decommissioned. It wasn’t working either.

  • Mark Thompson

    Mr Cromwell, I think you’re unlikely to get your job back while you refuse to pay your TV licence whatever happens.

  • jone

    While we’re in the area of the Irish language

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1015/andaingean.html

  • Outsider

    When I said there was too much gaelic on TV I meant gaelic sport, I do however recognise that it is fairly popular among Nationalists I am therefore not asking for it to be banned or even reduced airtime.

    What I would like is more from an Orange tradition on BBC, the twelfth only gets one live hour of coverage each twelfth morning and a half an hour bulletin in the evening which misses many of the demonstrations.

    The Lundy parades, twelfth of August parades, Last Saturday Parades, Sham fights and relief of Derry parades all get no footage on TV at all unless there is trouble at the event and the news gives the event some airtime.

    A little bit of parity by the BBC would be nice.

  • RG Cuan

    NOLAND

    There was a good Irish language music show on BBC 2 tonight. Not sure about SRL but wouldn’t rule out a come back.

    OUTSIDER

    You can hardly compare sport to political/religious parades!

  • Outsider

    Well I wouldnt call Gaelic a solely sporting organisation

    Why should something that is steeped in the Nationalist culture get so much airtime while something steeped in the Unionist culture get so little airtime?

  • Dawkins

    Outsider,

    “The Lundy parades, twelfth of August parades, Last Saturday Parades, Sham fights and relief of Derry parades all get no footage on TV at all unless there is trouble at the event and the news gives the event some airtime.”

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but most if not all of the “events” you checklist commemorate warfare and bloodshed.

    D’you think this is strictly necessary?

    And now I have your attention, perhaps you could help with something that always puzzles this outsider. Why is it called the “Marching Season” but the actual marches are known as “parades”?

  • DK

    One of the best programmes I saw involved this bloke with an abraham Lincoln style beard wandering around Northern Ireland and telling bits of stories and meeting local characters. I think some of it was in Ulster Scots. Does anyone else know of this – what was it called and was it BBC?

  • RG Cuan

    DK

    It’s the show that Séamaí mentioned in post no.2 – A Dander with Drenan. And you think ‘some of it was in Ulster Scots’, it all was! That’s how silly it all is…

  • Dawkins
  • Token Dissent

    RG Cuan – sorry but you are both patronising and wrong with regard to Ulster Scots and ‘A Dander with Drennan’. Only small segments of the series were in Ulster Scots. The majority of the show was guests speaking in their accents, and Drennan in his Cullybackey brogue.

    In general, what is it with people here being embarrassed to hear Northern Irish accents on the box? Shyness? An inherent self-hatred?

  • RG Cuan

    TOKEN DISSENT

    According to Tha Boord o Ulster-Scotch the Cullybackey brogue is Ulster Scots. I didn’t mean to be patronising, i myself have studied the Hamely Tongue and take a great interest in the dialect. It’s the clasifaction of what is and what is not Scots that is a joke, not wee Willie’s show.

  • Token Dissent

    RG Cuan – point taken, and apologises for being a wee bit touchy with earlier post. Jesus, I have just realised I was defending the BBC!

  • RG Cuan

    Nae bother TOKEN DISSENT! Fadhb ar bith.

  • Outsider

    Dawkins

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but most if not all of the “events” you checklist commemorate warfare and bloodshed.

    D’you think this is strictly necessary?

    Yes I do and so do the vast majority of Unionists and Protestants, if it doesnt happen then lets just scrap the gaelic as well.

    And now I have your attention, perhaps you could help with something that always puzzles this outsider. Why is it called the “Marching Season” but the actual marches are known as “parades”?

    The media call it the ‘marching season’ you should not listen to everything the media proclaims.

  • Séamaí

    Yes I do and so do the vast majority of Unionists and Protestants, if it doesnt happen then lets just scrap the Gaelic as well.

    Lovely Outsider, warfare and bloodshed, and the proposal to scrap one of the biggest sports – and the second most spoken language – in NI! That’s nice.

  • Outsider

    Séamaí

    Of course your right and Im wrong lets just ensure you and your cronies are kept happy and to hell with the rest of us.

  • Dawkins

    Séamaí,

    He is a troll, isn’t he?

    Or he’s a bloodthirsty bastard. Wouldn’t be exactly a unicum in NI.

  • Outsider

    Of course anyone who disagrees with your narrow views must be a troll.

    I will not however lower myself to swear at you.

  • Dawkins

    Outsider,

    That’s all right then.