Victoria Derbyshire says she ‘won’t give up’ telling stories as BBC axes show to cut costs
British daytime programme Victoria Derbyshire – revered for its consistent reporting of LGBT+ issues over the years – has been axed as part of BBC cost cutting measures.
From reporting of the lives of trans children to LGBT-inclusive education, the live BBC2 show has entertained and informed the public since it first aired in 2015.
The titular journalist herself, Victoria Derbyshire, responded to the show’s closure today live on air. Declaring that she and her team “don’t give up”.
Why is the Victoria Derbyshire show being shut down?
While an exact cut-off date has yet to be confirmed, efforts to save license fee payer’s money has been cited by management. Especially after the show’s run time was cut from two to one hour.
1/ The Victoria Derbyshire Show is coming off air. I understand @BBCNews is committed to Victoria + the (award-winning) journalism of the show. Cost of doing it on linear channel when savings are needed deemed too high. BBC declined to comment ahead of an announcement next week
— Amol Rajan (@amolrajan) January 22, 2020
Rajan took to Twitter to confirm the show being dropped, and added: “I understand BBC News is committed to Victoria + the (award-winning) journalism of the show.
“Cost of doing it on linear channel when savings are needed deemed too high. BBC declined to comment ahead of an announcement next week.”
He continued: “The show won awards at the RTS and from BAFTA.
“Victoria nominated for ‘Best Presenter’ four years in a row – and won once.
“Digital impact was huge. Show was designed to reach audiences the BBC struggles to connect with, and it did – online.”
Presenting the show today, Derbyshire said: “We are still here, telling your stories and covering the issues that are important to you in your life.”
“And you know what? We don’t give up.”
BBC2 show being taken off air is ‘gutting’ and ‘devastating’.
Whether parents just coming back from the school run to commuters catching up on the news, the Victoria Derbyshire show has been a crucial way to platform LGBT+ topics to wider audiences.
The show, which has won two PinkNews awards including ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ in 2015, being cancelled prompted outcry from public figures.
Absolutely gutting decision from BBC bosses today about Victoria Derbyshire programme. We’ve worked ridiculously hard for five years to get issues out there that rest of the BBC doesn’t cover. Had big impact, quoted everywhere, won awards, huge digital views. Such a shame.
— Jim Reed (@jim_reed) January 22, 2020
This is really sad to see, political programming that reached a largely working class audience. Without their work on Family courts I really believe that we would not have got the Government to agree to the review, which is just one example of the good journalism done by the team https://t.co/D8b5jc03hj
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) January 22, 2020
Sitting here putting together tomorrow's @VictoriaLIVE. 3 other journalists on the team here with me, all young, female and so talented. And busting a gut to make it as brilliant a programme as ever despite devastating news today. I've never worked on a team that cared so much. https://t.co/4TZb0Yg6pJ
— Emma Ailes (@emmaailes) January 22, 2020
Yet again, the BBC proves that it is its own worst enemy. @VictoriaLIVE not only breaks strong stories but has consistently championed people with autism and learning disabilities, unlike many other parts of the media. https://t.co/trseQq4AEn
— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) January 23, 2020
Queer Buzzfeed journalist Patrick Strudwick praised the show for breaking “LGBT stories”, while cutting into the reason why it was cancelled.
Don't axe @VictoriaLIVE, just give her a better slot. That way you get more viewers to justify the "expense". (And newsflash: original journalism is never cheap). There. Fixed it. Make me the new director general.
— Patrick Strudwick (@PatrickStrud) January 23, 2020
While viewers mourned the loss of a current affairs show that told queer stories not usually spoken on such a major platform.
I agree totally. I did an interview for them when they did a piece on LGBT older people in care settings.. No one else has ever shown any interest.. I can think of a ton of other programmes to get rid of rather than this one … Shocking!
— tina wathern (@t61wathern) January 22, 2020
Victoria Derbyshire‘s demise comes after the show spotlighted several queer issues.
Only recently, the show spoke to Charlie Grahame, a queer 20-year-old attacked five times for her sexuality.
It’s also raised the profile of the prolific use of the drug GHB among queer men, the use of homophobic slang by British prime minster Boris Johnson, campaigns to battle HIV in among south Asian men and gave airtime to LGBT+ activists during the debate for inclusive education.