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TV: BBC Apologies for Graham Norton IPP in Doctor Who

Last night, myself and many others had our experience of Doctor Who interrupted due to an “In-Programme Promotion” for Graham Norton’s “Over The Rainbow” which followed Doctor Who. The BBC has, via their news site, released an apology headed “Doctor Who fans angered by trailer for Over the Rainbow” which said:

Thousands of Doctor Who fans have contacted the BBC to complain that the ending of Saturday night’s episode was ruined by a trailer for the next show.

The on-screen caption featured an animated cartoon of presenter Graham Norton, host of Over the Rainbow.

It appeared as The Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was making an emotional speech during the story’s cliffhanger ending for The Time of Angels.

The trailer was seen by millions of viewers watching on BBC One in England.

Fans have also been complaining on social networking site Twitter. One wrote: “Why is the BBC treating its audience like idiots?”

Another said: “Don’t blink or Graham Norton will catch you.”

The BBC often promotes programmes in this way but the corporation has acknowledged that in this case the scheduling was inappropriate.

A BBC spokesman said: “We apologise for the timing of Saturday night’s trail.”

When I sent in my complaint regarding this matter, I did ask for the BBC to contact me regarding this matter, but I still haven’t received even an acknowledgement from them. This is the first time I have seen an IPP on the BBC – I know I don’t watch a lot of TV now, but I’m sure I would have seen them before now if they “often promote[d] programmes in this way”…


  1. Milo Simpkin Milo Simpkin

    I don’t think that is an apology and have actually written off a complaint about bias in a news article and poor quality reporting.

    They make it sound like the complaint was only by fans of the show over the poor timing of something they do regularly. This is not correct.

    They have not stated they will not do it again and seem as if they are trying to minimise the issue so they can keep on doing it.

    We need to keep on complaining as we should be able to see shows funded by our license fee as the director intended without animated pop ups marring the screen, at any time during the broadcast itself.

    If we do not keep complaining until we get a proper response and a commitment not to do it again these will continue, despite the fact that the BBC have had to back down over the introduction of IPPs twice before.

  2. Tone Tone

    “This is the first time I have seen an IPP on the BBC – I know I don’t watch a lot of TV now, but I’m sure I would have seen them before now if they ‘often promote[d] programmes in this way’…” same here, and I watch quite a bit of BBC, mostly preferring it’s content over that of other channels. I have seen plenty on the commercial channels where it’s expected and sorta justified and even then it was far more discreet than this in most cases.

    Maybe they’re counting that Family Guy episode with the gag about it which they repeat fairly often (featuring such classics as Shovin’ Buddies and Slowly Rotating Black Man)?

    I made the point in my complaint that this kind of advertising should be avoided as the reason we pay the licence fee is that we don’t have to be subjected to it and that if they continue along this line, they should expect people to no longer wish to pay the Licence Fee (which I was tempted to call The Licence Tax in my email, but refrained).

  3. The BBC has responded to my complaint to them:

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    The ‘Over the Rainbow’ trail in ‘Doctor Who’ should not have played out on Saturday and we apologise to all ‘Doctor Who’ fans whose enjoyment of the show was disrupted. We recognise the strength of feeling that has been expressed and are taking steps to ensure that this mistake will not happen again.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.


    BBC Complaints

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