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Plans for more distinctly 'British' TV could threaten the industry's potential for diverse brilliance

By Beth Johnson, Associate Professor in Film and Media; Deputy Head of School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds
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What makes a TV show British? Former media minister John Whittingdale had some ideas when he recently announced government plans to require UK public service broadcasters to produce “distinctly British” programmes. Speaking at the Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge he noted:

Britishness is, of course, a nebulous concept. It means different things to each and every one of us in this room. And yet we all know it when we see it…

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