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Brussels goes to war with British telly

Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy

The EU’s plans to screen less British TV on the Continent are idiotic, says Benji Wilson in The Daily Telegraph. The bloc is apparently unhappy about the “disproportionate” amount of British television shown on European stations. But as a TV critic, let me assure you, it’s their loss – continental telly leaves much to be desired. Take France: for every excellent show such as Spiral or Call My Agent, there’s a “wincingly poor” police drama at 90 minutes an episode. “They’re often bad; they’re always long.” Italy is worse. “The country that gave us Michelangelo and Puccini has, more recently, brought the world Trash TV.” And Cyprus operates in a whole other era, with shows so sexist they wouldn’t make it past Ofcom. “Countries like this are crying out for quality wherever they can get it.” 

It’s no surprise that British TV does well in Europe – “people really like it”. Good telly from places like the UK and US forces European writers to raise their game. Great Scandi noirs and Israeli series challenge our creators in a similar way. And viewers everywhere are richer for it. “No one gives two hoots about where a drama comes from, so long as it’s good.” 

Read the full article here (paywall).