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Nick Hewer quits Countdown

Stepping down sometime in 2021

EA
Earlie37 Meridian (South) South Today
I await the TV Forum outrage when Rylan or Stephen Mulhern are announced as the replacement. Very Happy
WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
Every time a vacancy opens up anywhere, we end up with pages of discussion about whether they will/should employ a "minority" to fill the role.
How about just finding someone whom they feel is a good fit for the programme, irrespective of their skin colour, gender, faith, sexuality...?


Because representation is important.
RA
radiolistener
Every time a vacancy opens up anywhere, we end up with pages of discussion about whether they will/should employ a "minority" to fill the role.
How about just finding someone whom they feel is a good fit for the programme, irrespective of their skin colour, gender, faith, sexuality...?


Because representation is important.


Is over representation also important?
HC
Hatton Cross Central (West) Midlands Today
In some respects.
No broadcaster should pass over hiring a white, middle class 50 year old host for a programme with a simliar audience profile, rather than trying to silence the BAME loudmouths with a yet another box ticking exercise.
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
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DW
DavidWhitfield Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Because representation is important.

But 'representation' surely means that there is a fair represenation of the population shown on screen.
To use race and sexuality as examples, in a country which at the most recent census was overwhelmingly white, and even more overwhelmingly straight, I don't think you can make any claims of unfairness in this regard at all when you take a look at the likes of presenters of programmes, actors in adverts, guests/panellists on debate/quizzes/panel shows.
I think you'd find in many areas that over representation of minority groups is more common than under representation in British TV and radio, if you were trying to make your output truly representative of the population it serves.
People should be employed on merit. Race, sexuality, faith, etc should not be a factor. Surely it's as unacceptable to employ someone specificially because they are a minority as it would be to say that you are unwilling to take on someone from a minority group? You're making decisions based on aspects of that person that they can't help either way. I know I'd be absolutely mortified if I was nudged ahead of straight candidates just because I, as a bisexual, would help to bolster an employer's LGBT numbers.
Take them on if they're up to the job. If they're not, don't.
Last edited by DavidWhitfield on 8 December 2020 11:46am - 2 times in total
Guess who's big in the back time!
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Because representation is important.

But 'representation' surely means that there is a fair represenation of the population shown on screen.
To use race and sexuality as examples, in a country which at the most recent census was overwhelmingly white, and even more overwhelmingly straight, I don't think you can make any claims of unfairness in this regard at all when you take a look at the likes of presenters of programmes, actors in adverts, guests/panellists on debate/quizzes/panel shows.
I think you'd find in many areas that over representation of minority groups is more common than under representation in British TV and radio, if you were trying to make your output truly representative of the population it serves.

There isn't over representation though - even on C4. Off the top of my head other than the occassional series fronted by Mo Gilligan with Big Narstie and Richard Ayode on The Crystal Maze they probably have less BAME talent front and centre presenting their shows than they've ever had actually - something historically you'd expect C4 to be leading on. It doesn't mean that automatically all white men should be ruled out, but it does mean they do need to cast their net a bit wider before making the final choice.

In reality though out of the dozens of people who regularly appear live on daytime TV or are regulars hosting or appearing in pre-recorded daytime formats you can count the number of people who you'd consider BAME on your fingers - so if you feel considering someone for a regular role would be "over representation", it is you that has the problem, not television.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Pete posted:
Just to add to this, there’s also the grammar of the show. So while theoretically you could run the show without Nick you couldn’t run it without Susie or Rachel.

But if you get Susie to cover both DC and Host then you end up with her saying “what did you get” then telling them all how they could have done better in the same breath. That would come over as smug in a poor way (not an amusing Victoria Coren way) and would ruin the gentle rhythm of the show.

So true, though arguably the Rachel role would be easier to combine, but it would upset the balance. You need the moderator role - and actually someone who pretty much sits back and lets the game take the stage.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
DW
DavidWhitfield Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I'm not just talking about Channel 4 or daytime television. In my post, I referred to TV and radio, I referred to presenters generally, and people appearing on panel shows, debates, quizzes, adverts... I referred to sexuality and faith in my post as well as race.

I'm genuinely curious how you go from reading this:

Quote:
Take them on if they're up to the job. If they're not, don't.


and

Quote:
People should be employed on merit. Race, sexuality, faith, etc should not be a factor.


and end up writing this in response:

Quote:
If you feel considering someone for a regular role would be "over representation", it is you that has the problem, not television.


To make it very simple; I want people to be treated fairly, not to have a better or worse chance based on factors they can't change, like their race or sexuality. That's it.

Nice try at attempting to make me look like some kind of ogre, but I'm afraid you're massively wide of the mark here.
Last edited by DavidWhitfield on 8 December 2020 2:16pm
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BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Firstly although I quoted your post I was responding to the last few where the issue of representaiton, over represenation and fair representation was bought up, and probably should have quoted with more consideration.


There is a narrative controlled by a few suggesting when roles in television become available they are increasingly dominated by BAME candidates - but the evidence is not there to support it. In daytime television, which is the area Countdown falls in to, if Countdown were to pick a non-white presenter they would actually be the only regular daily show on air week in, week out, to have a non-white lead presenter. I don't think anybody here is saying as you think that they should automatically give the gig to a non-white presenter but that it is important to consider the casting in the context of the wider issues of society and also the responsibility of television to represent - but also to reflect.

Sadly though there is a real issue in this country with how a certain section of society reacts everytime a black woman especially is given a TV role, even though that role is often in the grand scheme of things a minor role. I do think when you actually step back and look at the make up of television objectively we are clearly a long way from the point of over representation - and whether we're even at the point of fair representation when it comes to race is clearly a matter of debate too.


My view is ultimately as you say it should always be about picking the best person for the role, but perhaps in this case there is an opportunity for that role to go beyond what is on the job description.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
NB
NicB1971 Central (West) Midlands Today
How about Simon McCoy? He has that droll eye-rolling sort of humour that is integral to Countdown. There have been many faces in Dictionary Corner that would make ideal presenters. Another possible - Richard Madeley?
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
The narrative of Colin stepping in for Nick today due to him shielding seems to work with the news over the weekend. Odd though C4 didn't update the EPG to reflect Nick not hosting.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
BA
bilky asko Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
[I]n a country which at the most recent census was [...] even more overwhelmingly straight


I'm not sure how you got this from the last census, as sexual orientation was not a question asked (that's coming in the next one).

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