Tories want more ‘British’ shows like… Derry Girls

Mural of Derry Girls, the TV show
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Tory ministers want new laws to ensure TV is adequately British. The rules will force Ofcom to police the levels of Britishness on TV. But there’s a problem. One of the examples they give is Derry Girls. That’s right, a show about a group of proudly Irish Catholic schoolgirls negotiating adolescence in the midst of British military occupation.

Other acceptably ‘British’ shows include Only Fools and Horses, Fleabag and the Carry On films. Tory media minister John Whittingdale told the Royal Television Society conference that Dr Who and, unsurprisingly, Downton Abbey were also acceptable.

Needless to say, the new Tory plans have brought the best out of Twitter. One user challenged the Tories to own up to their fears:

While another pointed out that the Tories always had cash to splash, unless it involved keeping people alive:

One Tweeter suggested modern Britain had turned into one of Hunter S. Thompson’s surreal acid trip stories.

Another said the very idea sent a shiver down her spine:

While @peacockpete reminded us that UK TV has often been extremely diverse and thus very un-Tory anyway. Like the hit show Desmond’s – about a Black British barber shop – and Julian Clary’s long-running comedy series.

But Twitter user @oscardebird might have hit the nail on the head. For the Tories, ‘Britishness’ mostly means ‘Englishness’.

And in the context of their bigoted culture war, we know what Tories want us to watch on TV. It needs to be mostly white, straight and cliched. And patriotic if at all possible. And that’s why entertainment and culture which challenges these notions is so important.

Featured image via Unsplash/K. Mitch Hodge.

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