BBC Control Room

The corporation has released a long review of their output concerning how the BBC portrays gay, lesbian and bisexual personalities and characters within its broadcasting. The findings also look at how viewers and experts view such output.

The findings note that the majority of the audience to BBC radio and television are comfortable with the depiction and presence of LGBT content within programming.

 “The BBC has a fundamental obligation to serve all its audiences. In fact, it’s one of the BBC’s public purposes to reflect the diversity of UK life.” Says Acting director general Tim Davie.

It was noted however that many in the LGBT community, who took part in the research, observed that they are underrepresented in many programmes. This isn’t a criticism just aimed at the BBC, with ITV, Channel 4 and Sky also noted as lacking in this spectrum of questioning.

However Tim Davie believes the research will improve things at the beeb, “This review underlines our commitment and sets a direction for the work to continue.” He said.

The findings suggest programming that needs to be more inclusive to LGBT issues and people are withing the news and current affairs programming as well as ‘more realistic’ depictions of gay, bisexual and lesbians in drama and factual formats.

The experts urged broadcasters to be more inclusive in news and current affairs programming, as well as to include more realistic depictions of gay, bisexual and lesbian people in dramas, and factual television.

Around 3,500 people were surveyed for the review with over 500 noting they were classed as part of the LGBT community.

Experts from Stonewall, Equity, and the Lesbian and Gay Foundation also took part. The research will be re-examined and updated with new surveys in the next 12 months.

High profile programming on the BBC to feature gay characters and personalities include The Graham Norton Show, EastEnders, Comic Relief, BBC Sport and Upstairs Downstairs.

[Reported by Mike Watkins]

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