General News

Steven Berkoff criticises British TV

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Aug 06, 2013 | 4:58am EDT

Actor Steven Berkoff has launched a scathing rant at British TV bosses, accusing them of dumbing down by screening "silly" and "mindless" shows such as Downton Abbey. The Octopussy star singles out the BBC for particular criticism, insisting corporation bosses shun educational arts programming in favour of reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and soap opera EastEnders. In an interview with broadcaster Johnnie Walker, he says, "Last year, I was trying to watch the BBC on Saturday night. They had Strictly Come Dancing and (host) Bruce Forsyth. And I watched almost with tears because I remembered when I was 17, 18 I used to see Hamlet and Death of a Salesman on a Saturday night. That educated me... "The BBC is supposed to represent values.. Why should they compete (with the other networks)? ITV (network) does that stinking... Coronation Street (soap opera)... Then the BBC comes out with that stinky, slobbering, cliched, mindless, moronic EastEnders." Berkoff goes on to brand popular period drama Downton Abbey a "lot of silly old tarts in costume", adding, "It says nothing to us."

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