Family TV viewing is back thanks to Covid-19 crisis, says BBC Two bosses as University Challenge gets the biggest audience in a decade

  • It comes after reports suggested that watching TV had become a lonely activity
  • University Challenge and Mastermind have seen a big spike in numbers in years
  • BBC Two boss Patrick Holland says there is increasing public following the Covid-19 crisis
  • Mr. Holland spoke after the BBC told its staff that the corporation should make savings of £ 125 million this year after coronavirus's income affected
  • Here you can help people who are not affected by Covid-19

Family TV viewing – thought to disappear with the rise of tablets and mobile phones – has returned as a result of the & # 39; s crisis in coronavirus, a BBC boss has said.

Patrick Holland, auditor of BBC Two, spoke after the BBC told its staff that this year the corporation will have to make savings of £ 125 million after coronavirus's income was affected.

He told the Edinburgh TV Festival: & # 39; The co-viewing numbers for our shows at the moment – we're talking to the audience yesterday – are just phenomenal.

University Challenge has seen its largest TV audience in a decade, it's public

& # 39; People sit and watch television with their families.

& # 39; Eighteen months ago, you would have thought that the only view these days on your tablet, in a dark room, is done on your own. & # 39;

His remarks, made in a video interview, come after reports suggested that television was going from a communal to a lonely activity.

A Childwise report in 2018 said that & # 39; viewing has changed to become personal and private instead of a group activity gathered around a traditional television set & # 39; and that & # 39; the time of fighting with your siblings over what you must watch on TV is over & # 39 ;.

Mr. Holland said "the crisis has reminded the public just how powerful and meaningful public service broadcasting can be".

He also said that quiz shows have been a huge hit since the nation went into lockdown – with University Challenge, hosted by Jeremy Paxman, a big draw.

& # 39; Quiz numbers have been bonkers in terms of & # 39; the highest University Challenge figures for, I think, 10 years. Mastermind was right & # 39 ;, he said of & # 39; e long running shows.

And he added: & # 39; If you look at the programs & # 39; s that have been the hub that the nation has in & # 39; has accumulated over the last eight to 10 weeks, that sense of fame, those programs like University Challenge, Only Connect, Repair Shop – those shows that have that sense of heart and purpose and fame so important. & # 39;

Patrick Holland said people watch new television because of the lockdown

Patrick Holland said people watch new television because of the lockdown

While the general view of the & # 39; BBC has increased since the crisis began, the & # 39; hunger & # 39; to news not as high as it was at the beginning of & # 39; a pandemic, then & # 39; t it & # 39; extraordinary & # 39; was, he said.

& # 39; I think audiences then started to attract news and want to immerse themselves in other forms of content. & # 39;

BBC entertainment boss Kate Phillips said the broadcaster & # 39; looks very cautious & # 39; after broadcasting Strictly Come Dancing in the fall.

On & # 39; s question about Strictly and The Apprentice spin-offs, Mr Holland said: & # 39; We don't know what happens to Strictly yet.

& # 39; Of course, we will take what is the best advice, but there are many shows that we & # 39; re talking to, in terms of developing ideas. & # 39;

Mr. Holland spoke after the BBC told its staff they should make savings of £ 125 million this year

Mr. Holland spoke after the BBC told its staff they should make savings of £ 125 million this year

He said the popularity of travel program Race Across The World – the last four episodes in lockdown – had & # 39; grown and grown and grown & # 39 ;.

There & # 39; s another & # 39; two series waiting in & # 39; e wings & # 39 ;, but & # 39; we have to wait for the advice in terms of travel and social distance & # 39 ;, said Mr Holland.

& # 39; Of course, we love the series. It's a staggering success … But most importantly, everyone is safe in creating that program. & # 39;

Mr Holland added: & # 39; We are not immune to the effects of virus on & # 39; a sector.

& # 39; We continue to work with our budget … It is not the case that we are not affected by everything that happens. Of course we will, but there are no announcements at the moment. & # 39;

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