Charlotte Moore on BBC’s change and top talent pay
Controller of BBC Content, Charlotte Moore, talked about her unprecedented role today at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. While in conversation with Mary Nightingale she gave her view on the current trend of reviving old shows and opened up about her vision for the broadcaster’s future.
Moore’s role which has not existed previously is a position she describes as “an extraordinary privilege”. Her last post was controller of BBC One but she now heads up all the corporation’s channels including the online offering via iPlayer.
Talking at the festival she said that under the new system there was a greater feeling of fluidity, with more joined-up conversations. Although her vision of the channels’ output is part of her remit she said: “I trust the people I work with to have their own creative vision for their genre or their channel… to feel empowered to make their own decisions.”
Having been a commissioner herself, Moore was keen to stress that “if you empower your commissioners, the decision-making is speeded up”, admitting that she understands that nobody wants to have “a meddling channel controller”.
On the current state of BBC One, Moore recognised that recent times had been challenging but said she felt the quality and range of content reflected her desire to invest in innovation, quoting The Night Manager as an example of a new commission, and the Great British Bake Off as a programme illustrating her views on how a retuning show can change and move with the times.
Responding to the question of whether bringing back old favourites, such as the current crop of remakes of classic British sitcoms including Porridge and Are You Being Served? (pictured), are what audiences want, Moore defended her decision by stressing that the shows in question were as much re-inventions as remakes.
“The audience is not daft,” she said. “They wouldn’t watch it if it wasn’t funny enough, or relevant enough. If those shows were all we were doing, maybe I would be worried. But it’s a mix, and we are very much led by the writers.”
“BBC top talent salary reveal not in public interest”
The controller says she is keen to “better represent disability across all our channels” and to discover and nurture new talent, particularly in factual presenting talent. But Moore also was clear on her feelings about the constant calls for top BBC talent to have their salaries revealed, saying: “I don’t think it’s in the interests of licence fee payers to have the talent’s fees revealed.”
She suggested the likelihood that transparency would drive up salaries, as the talent would vie for higher/equal pay to that of their counterparts.
What she did see as crucial was what she cited in her summarising thoughts, saying: “I suppose it’s the success of the channels so far that makes me excited about what more we can do. The BBC has to be flexible, adapt to change and really embrace it.”
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