That ‘Brit’ Question Revisited
When I asked what it meant to be English, the question coincided with a patriotic piece in the Daily Telegraph talking about how a show like ‘Downton Abbey’ trounced ‘American rubbish’. Except that ‘Downton Abbey’ is largely financed by NBC, who according to today’s Variety balanced the deficit funding to the tune of around £7 million, so it’s effectively an American show made with British employees.
This is more often the case than we realise. A huge number of so-called original British TV shows are ripped from US formats. There has always been a back-and-forth aspect of TV and film development, and there are very few truly British films. For example, ‘The Full Monty’ is often cited as a British film – it’s not. The negative resides with Fox in the US, who declined to released the director’s cut in the UK for economic reasons.
So the next time the question about national identity and media comes up, it’s worth looking behind the headlines to see who’s really the employer.
(BTW, is this the worst comp of all time? What are they, bowling pins?)