Fans of Victoria Derbyshire’s current affairs television programme have called for Question Time to be axed by the BBC instead.
Following news that Derbyshire’s TV show is to be axed, there has been an outpouring of support for the award-winning BBC Two show.
One viewer said it was a “life-saving programme” that had helped her when she was “so alone”.
Shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin has written a letter to BBC director general Lord Tony Hall, asking him to reconsider the decision.
In a letter shared by Brabin on Twitter, she said that Derbyshire “is an incredible journalist and I am certain that she has a very bright broadcasting future in front of her regardless of what happens with the show in the coming months.”
Tell them to cut Question Time - a useless biased programme. Save yours!— ?Linda? (@LindaLovesStoke) January 23, 2020
“I know that a show like this will have a dedicated and talented team working behind the scenes, who are probably predominately freelancers.
“It’s of the upmost (sic) importance that these workers are treated with dignity in this process – and that they did not find out that their role may be in jeopardy via social media.
“However, The Victoria Derbyshire Show itself is brave and courageous journalism at its very best. It seeks out the stories that are so rarely covered elsewhere and broadcasts them in a format that is popular with and accessible to millions.”
Some viewers responded to Derbyshire’s tweet confirming the news with other suggestions for where the axe should fall.
Not a good way to find out about this short-sighted decision in the least. No respect. The BBC needs to get rid of Question Time if they are looking to make cuts!!! https://t.co/wg7swS7p23— Sandra A Agard (@sandrastorytime) January 23, 2020
Many called for Question Time to go instead – especially after actor Laurence Fox’s appearance last week attracted more than 250 official complaints.
The main issues cited in the complaints were that the “audience [was] not representative of the local area, leading to a pro-Conservative bias” and that the “discussion on racism [was] felt to be offensive”.
“Why cut this and not something useless and harmful to public discourse like Question Time?” asked Harry Samuels.
“All part of dumbing down the BBC to become the UK version of Fox News. A real shame. If they need to cut costs they should just get rid of Question Time,” wrote Helen Gilbert.
Personally I think they should cut shows like Question Time and Andrew Marr which keep rehashing the same garbage week in week out. This show has had some real positive & inspiring stuff & changed people's lives unlike most of the depressing crap on TV.— Robert S (@soul4real2000) January 23, 2020
“BBC has lost its mind: excellent Victoria Derbyshire Show to come off air as part of BBC cuts. Meanwhile the dreadful Question Time continues…” tweeted Baroness Hussein-Ece.
BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth told staff it had “not been an easy decision”.
She praised the programme, which was hailed in the BBC’s annual report, as “exactly the type of journalism we need to continue” and described Derbyshire as “a hugely talented and engaging presenter”.
But, she said, “audience behaviours are changing. Linear television viewing is declining, and as we progress with our £80 million savings target, it is no longer cost-effective to continue producing the programme on television”.
I'm all for saving @VictoriaLive, come on people show your support for this superb investigative programme. If the BBC want's to cut an expensive show then cut BBCQT - it's bias is inexcusable, especially since it's audience selection criteria was exposed last week!— David Rose, European For Ever (@davidxrose1) January 23, 2020
The decision is part of a wider series of changes to be announced next week.
The Victoria Derbyshire has raised awareness and provoked conversation on so many difficult issues. Why would @BBC cut it and leave Question Time which quite frankly has gone downhill with insignificant guests that talk s***!#victoriaderbyshire#BBChttps://t.co/UdbZqURyO9— April Dawn (@AprilsDawnLive) January 23, 2020
Why cut this and not something useless and harmful to public discourse like Question Time? https://t.co/B5Mkkb2ai6— Harry Samuels (@hnjsamuels) January 22, 2020