Friday, June 27, 2008

Patricia Routledge: How she savaged the BBC

The Mail today reports Patricia Routledge's fury at the BBC over its decision some time ago to cancel her hit shows Hetty Wainthrop Investigates and Keeping Up Appearances. Only a couple of lines are quoted - but accurately. I have now been sent the full text of what said: “We were betrayed by the BBC. Completely and utterly. We finished series four of Hetty Wainthrop, and we were told that there was definitely going to be a series five. The ratings were excellent.

"And so we waited and waited. Everyone in the cast and crew had lots of offers to do other things. But we were loyal to the BBC … everyone wanted to know, ‘When do we start filming again?’ But you know, they never sent a word to anyone. How rude. I worried for the youngsters in the cast – they were turning down opportunities so that they could be free to make another Hetty series. That’s appalling.

“There was a regime change at Television Centre, and the drama department ended up being run, as far as I can see, by a lot of ten-year-old children with absolutely no manners. So it never happened. That’s the way that they do things these days. How I yearn for the times when you had a handshake, or a phone call, and a sense of honesty and commitment.”


Anonymous said...

I saw this story on Teletext yesterday.

Anonymous said...

but without the extended quotes I mean

Adam Macqueen said...

It sounds very typical BBC. I once told a friend how much I'd enjoyed his programme on Radio 4 the previous day, only for him to look completely blank - turned out noone had bothered to let him know when it was being transmitted. And a few years later they rang him as a last-minute afterthought to let him know they were settling a potentially career-destroying libel claim against something he'd written, against his wishes, and without consulting him.
They're not big on courtesy to those who appear in their shows: Libby Purves also records in one of her books how she made sure she got her own press release out announcing her decision not to renew her contract on the Today programme because she knew otherwise it would be spun as her being sacked: twenty years later the BBC press office was forced to apologise for fabricating a load of quotes about Christopher Eccleston's reasons for leaving Doctor Who.