Following our report about how BBC Worldwide marked the launch of its new channel BBC Brit (with a 10m tall effigy of Top Gear's the Stig next to the Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw), i100.co.uk has been leaked the commissioning brief for the channel. And it's even worse than we imagined.
BBC Brit wants to be "the most interesting conversation in the bar" and is aimed at men aged between 25-44.
Essentially, the commercial arm of the BBC is making a channel aimed at the type of bore who would willingly step foot in a Walkabout pub, or in the document's own words "the Top Gear generation".
Our source, an anonymous independent producer who "despairs at the BBC brand being tarnished by this god-awful s**t-stain", said:
It's worse than BBC Ukip - it's what a Guardian reading BBC exec thinks people in Ukip want.. It's essentially the Top Gear channel.
Our source added: "Pitching to them is like something out of a Chris Morris sketch about TV commissioners. I went into a commissioning meeting and on the whiteboard there was the phrase 'WHAT IS BROCEANOGRAPY?' on it."
The channel's four main areas of interest are wonderful, particularly the quote "it’s cool to know things again" (under the "man lab" section). Phew!
Commiserations to any TV producer forced to pitch along the lines of the "tough brudder adventure" area of interest:
What does the modern man look like? Covered head to toe in lycra at the weekend, his biggest competitor is his own PB. No amount of pain will deter him, and all the better if he’s got a buddy to endure it with.
And we pity anyone who had to follow these "character and tone" guidelines (key quotes: facts should be served in "surprising, innovative ways" and "mates mucking about.. men are better together"):
Speaking of innovative facts, did you know a YouGov survey carried out in November found Ukip voters are most likely to say Jeremy Clarkson has made a positive contribution to the political debate? Here's another fact: the words 'Top Gear' are mentioned seven times in the seven-page briefing document.
We'll end this journey with our favourite quote, from the document's "tough brudder adventure" section:
Straight forward makeover or challenge formats won’t cut it here, we’re looking for truly inventive ways to bring to life the pain of being a modern man.
A spokesperson for BBC Worldwide said the channel is one of three new brands developed by the broadcaster's commercial arm, focusing on “core BBC programming strengths”.
"Premium drama (BBC First), premium factual (BBC Earth) and premium factual entertainment (BBC Brit). These new global brands are designed to inspire international audiences and cement the BBC’s international reputation for excellence in these particular genres. BBC Brit and BBC Earth’s launch in Poland this Sunday follows the successful début of BBC First in Australia last August," they said.
[BBC Brit's] DNA is intelligent but irreverent programming that’s male-skewing - but with broader appeal. It’s essentially the televisual equivalent of the best conversation in the bar and it blends expertise with entertainment and fact with fun.