From our Swindon Correspondent:
From the Guardian
The insider added: “Internally we’ve been asked to make sure we have more balance across our shows – we are constantly on the look out but there aren’t many people who have those viewpoints on the comedy circuit. Tell me the names that we’re missing out on? Some people aren’t very good. The issue is a shortage of rightwing comics.”
As a result a small group of Conservative-leaning comedians such as Geoff Norcott and Simon Evans are constantly booked for BBC panel shows and current affairs comedy programmes.
I don’t particularly like the terms “left wing” and “right wing” as they’re murky and don’t describe people well. Right wing can mean Christian Conservatives with a Deus Vult! perspective, super pro-free market, selfish bastards or in favour of repatriation of non-whites.
Another problem is that while comics on the left may want to do routines about politics, many individuals on the right are less keen to wear their views on their sleeve. “Geoff Norcott doesn’t want to support and espouse every single Tory policy,” said the insider.
I wouldn’t describe Geoff Norcott as particularly right wing. I think I would describe him as someone from fairly working class roots who thinks for himself, and that’s quite unusual, because so many comedians on the BBC are deeply into the groupthink of being Guardian readers with a boner for Corbyn. His line about the Brexit coup “got the water cannons out? Hanged anyone? Then it’s not a f**king coup” isn’t even particularly political, just poking at idiocy.
One problem is that BBC comedy shows are recorded in London television and radio studios, meaning the audience is likely to skew left and remain-voting, according to the individual involved in the programmes. “If you book a rightwing comic in London then the audience will be quite muted. If you were recording in Hull or Doncaster you’d get a different response.”
And in general, this is about The Blob around the BBC, the ecosystem . It’s in central London. It gets hipsters. But it also goes and finds comedy at the same places all the time (most notably the Edinburgh Fringe). That festival has really become marketing for getting on the BBC. Costs a lot of money to put on a show, but the commissioning editors go up there to find talent. Which also means that you then have to do a show that satisfies the Edinburgh fringe audience. Then the people who write websites for comedy tend to be also rather woke, reinforcing the thinking, as this from Leo Kearse explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ESJTlLJtjU
This all gets a little like Pauline Kael’s thing about not knowing anyone who voted Republican. If your blob around you is a certain way, that’s how you perceive things to be. If your network is woke metropolitans, how do you see outside of that?
I don’t believe that there aren’t non-commie funny people out there, because the USA has a whole load of comics who aren’t like that like Denis Leary, Bill Burr and Doug Stanhope. Where are they in the UK? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f-4etve2t0