BBC boss sparks outrage after claiming viewers 'love repeats' at Christmas

BBC boss sparks outrage after claiming viewers ‘love repeats’ at Christmas – as it emerges almost two-thirds of festive content on BBC 1 and 2 has been aired before

  • BBC boss Kate Phillips has sparked outrage by claiming viewers ‘love repeats’ 
  • 59% of it’s festive output is not original and instead re-runs of classic sitcoms
  • ‘People love a bit of repeats because actually Christmas is all about tradition’
  • Repeats up 9% from 2017, on BBC2, 73% of the Christmas schedule seen before

A BBC boss has sparked outrage by claiming viewers ‘love repeats’ as it emerged more than half of BBC1 and BBC2’s scheduled Christmas content has aired before.  

Kate Phillips was defending the Beeb, after it was revealed some 59 percent of it’s festive output is not original and instead re-runs of classic sitcoms such as Dad’s Army and The Vicar of Dibley. 

She said: ‘We do show repeats but we find that people love a bit of repeats because actually Christmas is all about tradition and family traditions, and when you go back home you do a lot of things the same way.’

A BBC boss has sparked outrage by claiming viewers 'love repeats' as it emerged more than half of BBC1 and BBC2's scheduled Christmas content has aired before 

A BBC boss has sparked outrage by claiming viewers ‘love repeats’ as it emerged more than half of BBC1 and BBC2’s scheduled Christmas content has aired before 

‘When you go back home you do a lot of things the same way. You hate it if your parents change something.

‘When I heard that BBC Two were showing The Good Life Christmas special again I was cockahoop, because Margo Leadbetter with The Times paper hat on her head doing a homemade cracker is a great moment and you want to see it again and again.’

The controller of ­entertainment commissioning added that with some classic moments ‘you want to see it again and again’.

Kate Phillips was defending the BBC, after it was revealed 59 percent of it's festive output is not original and instead re-runs of classic sitcoms such as Dad's Army and The Vicar of Dibley

Kate Phillips was defending the BBC, after it was revealed 59 percent of it’s festive output is not original and instead re-runs of classic sitcoms such as Dad’s Army and The Vicar of Dibley

BBC repeats are up nine percent from last year’s 50 percent. While on BBC2, 73 percent of the Christmas schedule has been seen before. 

Labour’s Jo Stevens, who sits on the Commons Digital, Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, said: ‘It’s disappointing to hear that yet again this Christmas, BBC schedules will be full of repeat programmes.

‘Licence-fee payers expect more, and if audiences are served up old programmes again and again, they will look to other channels for Christmas entertainment and won’t come back to the BBC. It’s self-defeating.’

BBC repeats are up nine percent from last year's 50 percent. While on BBC2, 73 percent of the Christmas schedule has been seen before, including re-runs of the 1971 classic Dad's Army

BBC repeats are up nine percent from last year’s 50 percent. While on BBC2, 73 percent of the Christmas schedule has been seen before, including re-runs of the 1971 classic Dad’s Army

Chief of the TaxPayers’ Alliance John O’Connell also told the paper: ‘No one minds a re-run of a classic film or an episode of Only Fools and Horses, but when there is so little original content at this time of year, licence fee payers might be feeling a bit short changed over the festive period.’ 

A BBC spokesperson added: ‘More than 90 percent of of BBC One’s peak time schedule is new this year. Viewers love a few old favourites at Christmas as well.’