The BBC announced via Twitter it was to axe The Victoria Derbyshire Show. The BBC's decision to axe the show was said to be in a bid to “cut costs”. Amol Rajan, the broadcaster’s media editor, said the programme was being pulled off air because the cost of the show was “deemed too high”. He wrote on Twitter: “The Victoria Derbyshire Show is coming off air. I understand BBC News is committed to Victoria + the (award-winning) journalism of the show." Going on to say “Cost of doing it on linear channel when savings are needed deemed too high. BBC declined to comment ahead of an announcement next week.”
Victoria Derbyshire herself talked of her 'devastation' at hearing the news and how she first found out the show baring her name was to be axed when she read about it in The Times.
However, since that time Derbyshire has hit back, proudly reminding the BBC management of the show's BAFTA award and prompting them to reconsider the decision.
The program is probably the best example of the BBC’s current misguided thinking. Despite all the self-congratulatory noise from the research team who work on the show, the performance of the show is dire, returning tiny viewing figures, especially considering its
timeslot. This is because it is aimed at an audience who will be mostly elderly, due to its position in the daytime Schedule, yet the topics discussed are for a niche audience of extreme left-wing viewers. Most elderly people are not the least bit interested in the topics covered on the show and look on, perplexed, at people who they often have no frame of reference for. This isn’t ‘educating’ nor is it news. For it to be either it needs to be in the majority of the public's interest or to contain information that the viewer can use to improve their everyday lives.
The show only has around half a dozen topics, ever. Yes, they may do a piece on a story in the news, but it will always be slanted to be from the LGBTQ, BAME, or 3rd-Wave Feminists perspective. Their two favourite topics appear to be Transgender rights and promoting the idea that all heterosexual men are evil, violent rapists. This Misandry is subtle, but the sheer volume of articles about Rape victims, women’s crisis centres, domestic violence, and #MeToo campaigns leaves the viewer in no-doubt about the message here; all men are rapists.
These groups all should have a voice, but that voice could be served just as well on BB3 or BB4. Most people don’t care about Transgender issues and no amount of news items about them will change that fact. That is not Transphobia, that is indifference, two entirely different things. The 80-something widow who lives alone and has the tv on for company has no interest in Bernard from Epping being misgendered on Twitter, however much Bernard blubs about it on national television. Likewise, demonising 50% of the population as all violent sexual predators (yes, we were listening) is probably never going to bring in high long-term view figures.
BBC management have sited too-high production costs for the decision. But as most of the items are re-hashed Guardian articles it's not entirely clear where the high budget is being spent.
Darren Birks for Vision News online