Life

Why has the BBC ignored the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality?

BY Iain Martin | iainmartin1   /  9 August 2017

One of the great puzzles of this summer is why the BBC has chosen to completely ignore the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The reform of 1967 was a landmark moment, and that being the case you would think that the Beeb would have commissioned some kind of series of programmes, possibly stretching over an entire month on every channel for hours on end to highlight the anniversary. But no. Nothing on the nation’s airwaves.

There was so much potential. Surely the BBC could have commissioned Scottish writer person Val McDermid to present a series for Radio 4 exploring the history of same sex relationships in Britain. Or get some well known actors to make a feature film called Against the Law. Or get Susan Calman on board to make a three part series about the People’s History of LGBTQ. Or ask Jon Savage on Radio 6 to chart the influence of gay culture on the punk movement. Or Beth Ditto to curate two hours of music challenging stereotypes. Or organise a six part documentary on gay life and religion with the first episode subtly titled “Does God hate Queers?” Or get Mark Gattis to curate eight stories for BBC TV on gay lives. Or organise a three part series by Simon Callow for Radio 4 on gay lives in the 19th century. Or put lots of stuff on Radio 1. And then fill up most of the gaps between programmes on all channels with promotions of this series of programmes marking the 1967 change.

But no. Nothing. What a miss by the BBC. Not a mention, on every single channel, hour after hour, for days on end, of this historic 50th anniversary. Yet again the BBC has let down licence fee payers.