The BBC announced the return of the BBC Three channel in what is considered to be a move aimed at attracting younger generations to the broadcaster’s products. However, presenter Sue Cook suggested the corporation is “shooting themselves in the foot with efforts to bring in new audience as they could alienate more loyal viewers. Speaking to talkRadio, Ms Cook said: “They’re not only kicking their most loyal audience in the teeth, they’re also shooting themselves in the foot.
“Because they are their most loyal audience, they’re also the bulk of their audience. I think it’s madness, really.”
The broadcaster, who begun her career at the BBC, argued the corporation had long been trying to attract younger generations but suggested the attempts distracted from catering to more reliable members of the audience.
She continued: “When I first started at the BBC, even back then it was the pursuit of youth they were all desperate for.
“Even then, I thought how pointless it was because young people watch everything available and there’s more available than ever before. So it’s crazy to alienate your big audience.
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“Everybody young gets old eventually so broadcast where your strength is. Broadcast to the people who are loyal, broadcast to the people to whom you mean a lot.”
She added: “Older people really do rely on and still trust, whether that’s right or wrong, the BBC and the mainstream media.
“My mum still watches the mainstream media, she still thinks the BBC is the voice of the oracle.
“I do think it’s a shame if the BBC keeps on pursuing youth because youth will eventually get there.”
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The corporation has also faced backlash because of the addition of language disclaimer messages at the start of several episodes of classic comedies like Some Mothers ‘have Them.
The BBC investigated a complaint from a viewer over the language used in the 1973 show but an internal watchdog decided it did not breach editorial guidelines.
The episode that sparked the complaint involved Frank Spencer saying: “I’m the chief of the pixies, I’m the friend of all the little boys and girls.”
“Oh no you’re not, you’re a p**f,” a boy yelled at Frank.
Frank responded: “I beg your pardon, block your ears!”