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couchspudprotem
April 12th, 2014
10:41 am

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Doctor Who, now?
Over on Making Light, I saw a link to this, a twitter discussion of a Doctor Who website listing of the writers and directors for the next series, noting they're all male.

Now, in my youth I was a TV critic (and was once personally called a Stalinist by David Mellor when the Fawcett Society were lobbying him to include equal representation for women in the 1990 Broadcasting Act) and one of the things I have always advocated is complaining to the BBC.  They have well-oiled procedures for logging and handling complaints, and - while you won't always (or even often) get what you want - your views will reach the people who actually make the programmes, via a daily digest of complaints and calls.

So I followed my own advice and filled in the BBC's online complaint form, asking (1) whether the story was true and (2) saying that, if so, I wasn't happy with the lack of gender parity.

Apparently the BBC - who produce the BBC programme Doctor Who - aren't privy to the details of who they are going to employ to make their programmes...

Because this is the response I had.  Blood pressure alert: it made me angry.  If you have an exploding head, be prepared to lose it.


Dear Ms Bradley

Reference CAS-2650517-BR2VKY

Thanks for contacting us regarding BBC One’s ‘Doctor Who’ as broadcast on 23 September.

I understand you believe the writing and directing line up for the upcoming series will be entirely male and you feel we should do more to address such an gender imbalance in our choice of writers.

At present the eighth series of the programme is in production and the details around the programme are closely guarded so we have access to limited information and are unable to address your complaint at present. Once the programme is due to be broadcast, the information about the individual episodes will be published on the programme’s episode web pages.

Nevertheless your views are important to us and we welcome feedback from our audience to help us create enjoyable programming for all. I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback that’s compiled daily and made available for all BBC staff including the team responsible for ‘Doctor Who’.

Our audience logs are very important documents that are used on a daily basis throughout the BBC and can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

[name redacted]

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.


So there we have it.  I encourage you to fill in the complaints form yourself and make it clear that it's not just me.  Diversity is about noticing if your search for "the best man for the job" produces a one note response.  And then doing something about it.

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