BBC Fires Shots At Netflix & Amazon Amid Battle For British Talent

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BBC director of content Charlotte Moore fired thinly-veiled shots at Netflix and Amazon at a gathering of some of the UK’s top writing, production and on-screen talent on Monday night.

At a lavish party at London’s Sky Garden bar, overlooking some of the capital’s biggest landmarks, the BBC attempted to lay down a significant marker as the competition for Britain’s brightest creative minds becomes increasingly intense.

Against a backdrop of Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge being ripped from the BBC into the arms of Amazon, and The Crown writer Peter Morgan being snapped up on a giant overall Netflix deal, Moore appealed to the audience to bring their best work to the BBC, where she said they will be rewarded with a big platform, risk-taking and unrivaled creative freedom.

With an eye on the streaming giants, she said the BBC’s TV channels and “human”-curated iPlayer, “won’t let your work disappear without a trace down the back of a global VoD library.” And in a nod to the mega overall deals, Moore added that “we don’t want to own you” – instead, she said, “you get to own your program and your IP.”

She continued: “We’re not driven by commercial imperatives. We’re here to back the stories that, frankly, the market isn’t ready to support. We’re driven by the desire to push creative boundaries.”

Moore added that the BBC’s brand and TV channels are the “world’s most amazing marketing tool,” setting the broadcaster apart from streaming rivals. “They’re the envy of the streaming world, they’re strong British brands with really clear distinctive visions that British audiences know and love,” she explained.

The party was attended by the likes of Undercover Boss producer Stephen Lambert, writers such as former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, and stars including Graham Norton and Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman. Late Late Show host James Corden and Sir David Attenborough were also among those who provided thoughtful declarations of admiration for the BBC in a video shown to the audience.

Corden said: “Since moving to America, I have more fondness and respect for the BBC and the way they foster creativity. I think it’s the most incredible organization… I miss it hugely, I miss its output as a viewer, I miss its input as a creator.”

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