Ken Loach Bad TV drama leaves viewers wallowing in nostalgia
The BBC is a “rotten place” for a director, Ken Loach has warned, as he argues television is wallowing in “fake nostalgia” which fails to tackle the issues of today.Loach, the award-winning director, said too much drama showed a “rosy vision of the past”, encouraging audiences to “put your brain to sleep”.The 80-year-old, who this year celebrates 50 years since the broadcast of the seminal Cathy Come Home, said the BBC must do more to reflect the concerns of real people, claiming its approach to coverage is “manipulative and deeply political”. Ken Loach has criticised tv dramasCredit:AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. I, Daniel Blake In an interview with the Radio Times, Loach said socially conscious television drama was consigned to “decades ago”.“And even then, people overstated how much of it there was,” he said.“Anyway, now the drama is produced by outside production companies and horribly micro-managed.The directors I know in television say it’s a nightmare. That’s true for all the broadcasters, but the BBC is a rotten place for a director.” Loach appears in CannesCredit:AFP “TV drama is like the picture on the Quality Street tin, but with less quality and nothing of the street.”On the question of what should be done with the BBC, Loach said: “Democratise it. Diversify it so that different regions can make their own dramas. And its notion of news has got to be challenged.“The BBC is very aware of its role in shaping people’s consciousness; this is the story you should hear about, these are the people worth listening to. It’s manipulative and deeply political.”His Palme d’Or winning film, I, Daniel Blake, is out now. A spokesman for the BBC said: “The quality, range and ambition of BBC Drama is evidence of an organisation in top creative form that supports both the directors voice and reflects the whole of the UK.”From world class British directors like Peter Kosminsky redefining period drama with Wolf Hall, or Julian Farino’s BAFTA winning Marvellous, visionary directors have a home on the BBC and this means we also attract directors from across the world like the Emmy winning Susanne Bier on The Night Manager to Oscar winner Jane Campion.”BBC Drama is produced across the nations and regions of the UK from Happy Valley to Peaky Blinders, The Fall, Shetland, Poldark, The A Word, Last Tango in Halifax and Ordinary Lies.” When asked about the populality of British drama, such as Downton Abbey, he added: “This rosy vision of the past, it’s a choice broadcasters make.“It says, ‘Don’t bother your heads with what’s going on now, just wallow in fake nostalgia.’ It’s bad history, bad drama. It puts your brain to sleep.“It’s the opposite of what a good broadcaster should do, which is stimulate and invigorate. You might as well take a Mogadon as watch it.