Welcome to the second of our weekly news round ups from your friends at the TV Collective – we keep up with all the news and gossip from the world of TV and film, so you don’t have to.

First up …………….

 No More All Male Panel Shows.




Tune into panel shows like Have I Got News For You, QI, or Mock The Week and what do you see?  Very much the same thing that you will see in board rooms and exclusive members clubs up and down the country – a sea of white men.

Well some good news was announced this week when >Danny Cohen, head of the BBC’s television output, promised viewers that the corporation will not make any more all-male panel shows.

This commitment to address the vice-like grip of the ‘male, stale and pale’ on our screens follows recommendations made by the BBC Trust last year. In December, BBC management told programme producers there was “no excuse” for not having women on comedy panel shows after new sex-representation objectives were set by the BBC Trust. In July last year, the Trust asked BBC director general Tony Hall to get more women on air “as a matter of urgency” throughout 2013-14.

Talking to the Observer about his plans for better representing his audiences on screen, Cohen said: “We’re not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It’s not acceptable.”

A BBC spokesman said that while it is possible that some panel shows recorded several months ago may still appear without a female team member or chairperson, every episode recorded from now on will include at least one woman.

The BBC’s entertainment controller, Mark Linsey, said that such programmes would be improved by the mix of sexes. “I’m making it clear to production teams that there’s just no excuse for delivering all-male guest lists,” he said. Read the full Observer interview with Cohen And once they have addressed this glaring gender inequality, how about moving onto address the lack of people of colour?  Here’s hoping………..

And speaking of such ……………..

 The Lenny Paper


Lenny to the rescue!
Lenny to the rescue!


As extensively reported by the TVC and much of the rest of the media, back in January the Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries – Ed Vaizey – called a special meeting to address a problem that we’ve been going on about for years: The lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people working in television and the media.

A lot of the TVCollective regulars were there, including Pat Younge and Marcus Ryder as well as other major players with an interest in diversity issues, including the afore-mentioned Danny Cohen.

At the meeting Lenny Henry circulated his proposal as to how the industry could be radically overhauled and diversity increased. It quickly became known as the “Henry Paper”. If you want to read it in full check it out.

Darcus Howe

A very different Black British cultural icon is Darcus Howe.  Many will remember him for hosting The Devil’s Advocate – a weekly television show on Channel 4 back in the ‘90s, but his cultural contributions go much further than that.  A veteran of the civil rights struggle, Howe is subject of a new political biography  and last week his life and times were examined when BBC Radio London presenter Dotun Adebayo invited Howe and the book’s authors into the studio.  It makes for fascinating entertaining listening, and you can on the BBC i-player until Sunday.


Darcus Howe with Dotun Adebayo
Darcus Howe with Dotun Adebayo


The Laurence Fishburne / Samuel Jackson mix up

And finally, on a lighter note, the funniest story of the week involved African American actor Laurence Fishburne, fellow actor Samuel L. Jackson, and an unfortunate American TV host.  To give some background to the story, The Superbowl (played last Sunday) is one of the largest annual sporting and television events in America, and many major companies produce special adverts just for the occasion. One such advert featured Laurence Fishburne reprising his role from The Matrix for the car manufacturer Kia. (see below)

In a live interview the next day the hapless KTLA reporter mixed up Fishburne and Jackson and, true to form, Sam The Man DID NOT let it slide.

By Wednesday the story was taken up by The Guardian journalist Joe Harker who revealed that such ‘you all look alike to me’ incidents are all too familiar.  Read his article.

That’s all for this week folks.  But if you can’t wait a full seven days for you next fix of TV and film news, stay tuned to the TVC Facebook page, for daily updates.