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British-made TV is under ‘serious threat’ from Netflix

BBC director general Tony Hall is concerned about the future of British-made TV He will warn there w..

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  • BBC director general Tony Hall is concerned about the future of British-made TV
  • He will warn there will be a half a billion pounds shortfall over the next 10 years
  • The rise of streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix are having an impact

By Abe Hawken For Mailonline

Published: 05:42 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:44 EDT, 2 November 2017

British television programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Sherlock and Britain's Got Talent are under 'serious threat' from streaming services such as Netflix, BBC director general Tony Hall will warn.

Lord Hall, 66, is concerned the home-grown shows could suffer because of a potential £500million shortfall over the next decade.

Addressing the future of content, he will caution that global services such as Netflix and Amazon are failing to invest their revenues in British programming.

Worrying findings by consultants Mediatique – published by the BBC – suggested spending on UK programming could fall by half a billion pounds over the next 10 years.

British television programmes including Strictly Come Dancing (pictured, Alexander Burke and Gorka Marquez in October) are under threat, according to the BBC 

British television programmes including Strictly Come Dancing (pictured, Alexander Burke and Gorka Marquez in October) are under threat, according to the BBC

BBC Tony Hall is also concerned about the hit BBC show Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) BBC Tony Hall is also concerned about the hit BBC show Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) 

BBC Tony Hall is also concerned about the hit BBC show Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured)

In a speech in Liverpool on Thursday, he will say: 'We have to face the reality that the British content we value and rely upon is under serious threat.'

Global services such as Netflix and Amazon are showing little evidence they are likely to make up the shortfall, according to Lord Hall.

He will say: 'The reality is that their investment decisions are likely to focus increasingly on a narrow range of very expensive, very high-end content – big bankers that they can rely on to have international appeal and attract large, global audiences.

'Even the most generous calculations suggest they are barely likely to make up half of the £500million British content gap over the decade ahead. And a more realistic forecast points to substantially less.'

Netflix reportedly spent £100 million on the first two seasons of The Crown, which returns for its second series later this year and chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Mediatique report also suggests that while Sky and BT may have spent huge amounts securing British sports rights, they do not do much to fill the funding gap across other genres or areas such as religion or science and history.

It warns of a damaging impact on UK distinctiveness, risk-taking and innovation.

So far this year, the top five shows are all British: One Love Manchester, Broadchurch, Britain's Got Talent, Sherlock and Strictly.

In the face of the warnings, Lord Hall will call on the BBC to remain a 'bastion of brilliant British content'.

So far this year, the top five shows are all British: One Love Manchester, Broadchurch, Britain's Got Talent (pictured), Sherlock and StrictlySo far this year, the top five shows are all British: One Love Manchester, Broadchurch, Britain's Got Talent (pictured), Sherlock and Strictly

So far this year, the top five shows are all British: One Love Manchester, Broadchurch, Britain's Got Talent (pictured), Sherlock and Strictly

Lord Hall will say Netflix (pictured, CEO Reed Hastings) is showing little evidence it is likely to make up the shortfallLord Hall will say Netflix (pictured, CEO Reed Hastings) is showing little evidence it is likely to make up the shortfall

Lord Hall will say Netflix (pictured, CEO Reed Hastings) is showing little evidence it is likely to make up the shortfall

He will say: 'But to achieve this, we have to recognise that the environment around the BBC has changed dramatically, and we must change in response.

'In the UK we often think of the BBC as a big player, but today the media market is truly global. And in that vast solar system, we are tiny compared to the huge gas giants of the US. And every day they're getting bigger.

'That is why we must continue to innovate, back new ideas, and take creative risks. We will never simply compete on money alone. It is why the reinvention of the BBC for the modern age is so important.'

Lord Hall will highlight the corporation's launch of commercial production arm BBC Studios – which produces programmes for other broadcasters as well as the BBC – and its challenge to BBC Worldwide in doing more to generate returns for licence fee payers.

He will say a 'new golden age for British production' can be kick-started if the industry gets the response right now.

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Australia

Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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Grace Tame says caller ‘threatened’ against criticising PM

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An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a “threatening” call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.

Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she’d been called by a “senior member of a government-funded organisation”.

She added she was asked to promise not to say anything “damning” about Scott Morrison.

The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate.

On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office.

Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament’s culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed.

Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.

On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: “if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech”.

But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named.

She said the caller had described her as an “influential figure” and that Mr Morrison would “have a fear” about what she might say “with an election coming soon”. Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May.

“Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me,” Ms Tame said, before drawing a comparison with her former abuser – a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent.

Mr Morrison’s office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame’s speech, adding “the individual should apologise”.

“The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable,” a spokesperson said.

But Ms Tame said launching a probe “misses the point entirely”.

“Stop deflecting, Scott. It’s not about the person who made the call. It’s the fact they felt like they had to do it at all,” she tweeted.

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