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Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies: End of BBC is ‘undoubtedly on its way’

Manchester-based Doctor Who showrunner and Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies has some bad news for the BBC, telling the They Like to Watch podcast that the end of the corporation is “undoubtedly on its way in some shape or form.”

Davies is a long-term collaborator and vocal supporter of the BBC. He began his TV career as a freelancer for BBC Wales in the mid-80s before landing a series of longer term roles in Manchester, beginning with a six-month contract as a writer on the kids’ show Why Don’t You? in 1988, was discussing the BBC’s recent co-production deal with Disney+ on Doctor Who.

Davies claimed the deal had to happen: “I had already said in interviews that I think Doctor Who will have to become a co-pro, there’s no way the BBC is going to fund that,” he said. “You’ve also got to look in the long term at the end of the BBC, which is somehow, surely, undoubtedly on its way in some shape or form. What is Doctor Who going to do then? You have to prepare for that.”

Doctor Who was handed a huge cash injection via the Disney+ deal, which also saw His Dark Materials studio Bad Wolf brought aboard as a co-producer alongside BBC Studios, and Davies return for his second stint as showrunner. The first series of the now co-produced show will launch simultaneously on the BBC and Disney+ in May with new, 15th Doctor Ncuti Gatwa piloting the TARDIS.

Earlier this week, BBC director general Tim Davie hailed the Disney deal as an example of how the BBC needed to move forward in the current environment in a speech at the Royal Television Society which saw Davie predict further co-production and commercial partnerships as a way of shoring up the Beeb’s finances with further cuts to services expected, as well as the potential end of the licence fee.

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