New BBC Director Tim Davie’s drive to remedy the left leaning slant of much of the Corporation’s output took a new turn today. In a step beyond merely insisting on more right wing comedians on comedy panel shows, Mr Davie announced a new raft of programmes to be fronted by former Tory MPs. This includes both new shows for existing presenters, but also rebooted formats from the BBC archive, other channels and independent production companies.
The flagship of new programmes for existing presenters will be a thirteen part travel documentary series on demountable temporary toilets around the world. ‘Portillo on the Portaloo’ will feature Michael Portillo with his red trousers down around his ankles in many exotic locations. Davie said ‘widening the ever popular Portillo’s portfolio is a no-brainer’, adding ‘Mr Portillo has, of course, been without a portfolio since his rejection by the voters of Enfield Southgate in the 1997 election. The use of the phrase no-brainer is fair comment.’
The greater use of existing right wing presenters will be matched by bringing back old shows with new presenters.
In addition to How to Look Good Naked with Anne Widdecombe, in production are Ken Clarke’s Civilisation, an exploration of the pleasures of Hush Puppies, cigars, and Jazz music, and George Osborne taking over Bargain Hunt. A quiz series Pointless Politicians will be hosted by Chris Grayling assisted by extremely tall MP Mark ‘Frenchy’ Francois and feature contestants including Liz Truss, Brandon Lewis, Suella Braverman, Priti Patel and Jeremy Hunt. A variety show provisionally entitled Britain’s Got No Talent will feature turns including Dom Cummings’ vent act, with his dummy Boris; plate spinning by George Osborne; Nigel Farage Le Petomane, farting the Marseillaise; Mr Mathematics Gavin Williamson; and the Lad himself, Matt Hancock.
The BBC justified the approach as a tried and tested process. ‘”I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue” translated from radio to Parliament seamlessly, so why not these programmes?’ suggested a spokesman.