Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Talking Point: why are the BBC refusing to air Scottish comedy to the rest of the UK?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Have you seen the sketch show Burnistoun? Doesn't ring a bell? Oh, how about Gary: Tank Commander? No? You must have seen Limmy's Show? Still drawing a blank? If so, chances are you're not Scottish, because those are three popular Scottish comedies that have never been broadcast south of the border. The invention of the BBC iPlayer means they're just one click away for Welsh, Northern Irish and English viewers, of course, but quite why the BBC are resistant to airing them is anyone's guess...

Are the schedules really too full to squeeze them in somewhere? I don't believe that. BBC2 or BBC3 would surely welcome three extra comedies on their schedule, so why don't they show them? Are they perceived as being TOO Scottish and of no appeal to the rest of Britain? Is there even such a thing as "too Scottish" -- beyond a ginger, kilt-wearing Highland Games champ called Angus McAngus riding the Loch Ness Monster to an Edinburgh shortcake festival, while playing bagpipes with his face painted Braveheart blue?

What do you think, Scottish readers? Are we missing out on some treats here? And to everyone else, who may have sampled these shows via iPlayer, are they worth watching or deservedly obscured behind Hadrian's Wall? Although, rather interesting, many are popular in Australia. You can read more in this article from the Herald Scotland.

And for those who haven't seen those shows, here are some samples: