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BBC eyes writer gender parity

Piers Wenger at C21’s Content London event

CONTENT LONDON: The BBC is striving to achieve gender parity in its writing rooms and is working to create drama for bespoke demographics, drama controller Piers Wenger told C21’s International Drama Summit.

Wenger said the proportion of women writing shows for the BBC was “constantly monitored” but “not perfect.”

“That’s something that has been talked about a huge amount over the last two or three years and something that I’ve been very mindful of,” he said. “At the last count, it was about 60/40 [male writers to female writers]. So it’s not perfect, but two or three commissions could shift that 10%.”

The exec pointed to forthcoming shows Normal People and January 22nd as examples of new BBC projects from female writers.

Touching on the Beeb’s efforts to broaden its audience and increase its appeal to younger viewers, Wenger said: “We need to make drama for those parts of the audience who feel that 9pm on Sunday on BBC1 is not where they’re going to get drama that really speaks to them.

“We’re making drama that is bespoke to those audiences who are not necessarily finding the kind of drama they want to watch in the mainstream. We’re looking to make more drama that sits out of those slots to reach the whole nation.”

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