PDA

View Full Version : Lynda La Plante vs The BBC



gothicangel
01-02-2010, 04:50 PM
I was going to post this in Mystery/Thrillers, but thought here might have a bigger audience:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6920052/BBC-would-rather-read-a-little-Muslim-boys-script-claims-Lynda-La-Plante.html

gothicangel
01-02-2010, 04:55 PM
My thoughts:

Sour grapes.

For the last few years La Plante has been criticised about her heroine's in the police force fighting a sex war that was won decades ago. I think this is probably the BBC's way of saying 'you are outdated and out of touch.'

I also had the misfortune to read one of her books a few years ago. Now I love my horror, but the graphic description of a maggot ridden corpse was revolting. I won't read another.

Quite frankly I would be more interested by the drama by the 'little Muslim boy.' I like something that was new and fresh. Or could this possibly be that La Plante can smell new blood breaking through and she knows she can't compete.

I applaud the BBC's commitment to new talent.

As for Katie Price and Martine McCutheon, if that's what they want then who are we to criticise? Not my reading material, but neither is a La Plante novel. She's in serious danger of sounding like a bitter has-been.

If I'm ever lucky enough to have her success, I would would hope I would retire with grace and dignity.

Jamesaritchie
01-02-2010, 08:23 PM
La Plante is hardly the only writer to complain. Many have, including many with consideral talent and huge sales number.

My own feeling is that writers probably shouldn't get involved in such wars, but my feeling is also screw the BBC. Every complaint I've seen against them seems perfectly valid to me.

firedrake
01-02-2010, 08:33 PM
She may have a point, however, bear in mind that the Telegraph is a right-wing paper and British right-wing papers love BeeB-bashing.

Don't forget that the BBC has also nurtured writers like Russell T. Davies and Steve Moffatt and produced dramas and comedies that are shown around the world.

Yea, they produce crap too. But I'd rather watch the BBC any day.

gothicangel
01-02-2010, 08:38 PM
It was the 19 year old comment that made me take notice.

Why 19, why not 39?

gothicangel
01-02-2010, 08:55 PM
When the BBC are hot they make superb dramas like the recent series 'Garrow.'

Not to forget the new series of the brilliant Wallander starts tomorrow. :D

Toothpaste
01-02-2010, 09:15 PM
It was the 19 year old comment that made me take notice.

Why 19, why not 39?

I assumed she was referencing someone specific. Often when I'm venting (albeit privately) about someone, I might not say their name or anything, but a descriptor that everyone knows, like (and this is all totally made up) "I can't believe I lost out the role to webbed feet girl". I bet there's someone who just got a contract with the BBC who's young (possibly not 19, maybe in his twenties or whatever) that she doesn't feel deserves it.

BenPanced
01-02-2010, 09:19 PM
She's right about the unwieldy salaries, though. The rest? Like the independent networks don't produce their share of shite?

Maxinquaye
01-02-2010, 09:25 PM
Not to forget the new series of the brilliant Wallander starts tomorrow. :D

That's really going to be strange, seeing English people interpret a fairly dystopian-minded swedish cop.

Maxinquaye
01-02-2010, 09:27 PM
Another mystery writer that had a go at the Beeb was PD James.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6920354/How-PD-James-skewered-the-BBCs-Mark-Thompson.html

gothicangel
01-02-2010, 09:42 PM
That's really going to be strange, seeing English people interpret a fairly dystopian-minded swedish cop.

I'm just a sucker for Kenneth Brannagh! :D

Fran
01-02-2010, 09:55 PM
That's really going to be strange, seeing English people interpret a fairly dystopian-minded swedish cop.

You must have missed the first series then. ;)

Lynda la Plante never seems to have had a problem getting her stuff shown on ITV. The fact she's gone to the BBC suggests the increasingly cash-strapped ITV have dropped her from their schedule. If that's the case her target should surely be ITV. /speculation

Maxinquaye
01-02-2010, 10:08 PM
You must have missed the first series then. ;)


Oh.

My TV habits exposed. I think I watch TV about ten minutes per week, if even that. :)

gothicangel
01-02-2010, 10:32 PM
Same here, Wallander being one of the reasons I happily pay my license fee!

There again, I do love my Swedish detectives!

MaryMumsy
01-02-2010, 11:58 PM
I'm not familiar with Lynda or the rest of the controversy. What I want to know is: what is that large black creature she has her left hand around?

MM

LuckyH
01-03-2010, 01:10 AM
The posts beg the question whether writers have a sell-by date, or are allowed to retire at some stage. I donít know the answer, but historically it appears to be No.

Lynda la Plante is an excellent writer in her field, and the sheer volume of her past successes means that her opinions must be important, whether we agree with them or not.

Another opinion is that the Ďoldí brigade is preventing new talent from coming through, which I suspect is the OPís contention. Itís not a valid argument though, whether there is compulsory retirement at pension age of 65, or death, the regeneration process will carry on as always.

Iíd rather consider an opinion from Lynda la Plante than the alternative mentioned in the article.

Be patient, you wonít want to be thrown to the wolves when youíre 63.

Millicent M'Lady
01-03-2010, 01:27 AM
What a horrible piece of journalism that article was. So what if the BBC wants to showcase minority talent or freshen up their programming? It's not like there's no room for people like La Plante- the article points out that she had two pieces in production with them.

To be honest, it sounds like sour grapes because of the difference of opinion she had with the controller that led to one of the projects being cancelled.

gothicangel
01-03-2010, 01:52 AM
I believe a lot of the criticism aimed at La Plante and her novels and tv series are obsessed about 'women making it in the male world of policing'. Which is just bull**** in the modern police force.

Maybe the BBC where the ones who had the balls to say it was bull****?

Toothpaste
01-03-2010, 02:05 AM
You think so? I'm not in the police force but I still see sexism wherever I go, including the publishing industry. I'm sure things are much better now than when she began writing, but BS? Not so sure about that . . .

Maxinquaye
01-03-2010, 04:07 AM
Sexism exist. Also, the UK is still in many ways a class-society; not because there are laws regulating class but because many people want it to be like that. UK wouldn't be as much "fun" if it wasn't so. People take a sort of pride in it, and keep to their class.

It's hard to explain how that can play, and it is really hard for foreigners to pick up on, while a brit would spot it at once. You could make shows that were totally unintelligible for the rest of the world where the plot hinged on this. Any brit would pick up on it at once, no one else would.

There are cues all the time, not least language clues that identify you belonging to a certain class at once. If you give off the wrong cues in a given situation, you can exclude yourself pretty quickly.

My favorite example of this is a gay movie, "Beautiful thing", where the main MC's mother gets involved with a middle class guy named Tony. A lot of the chuckles in the movie is about how Tony just misses all the cues, or tries to impose his middle class cues on people around him. He keeps going on about how the word 'bird disempowers women' for instance.

But this is a derail... I'll bow out now. It was the sexism that got me thinking about this.

But it can tie into the Beeb-fight. Lynda la Platt can also be arguing out of this position, the class position. I'm not sensitive enough to pick up on it, but any brit should be able to do so.

Fran
01-03-2010, 04:22 AM
I haven't a clue what class Lynda la Plante is. If you want to say the BBC is run almost entirely by white middle-class privately educated people from the Home Counties I'd agree completely, which is why they recently got slapped for the 'national news' bulletins ignoring Scotland and Northern Ireland, and only mentioning Wales in the context of EnglandandWales. The BBC certainly does have issues about whether it's truly representative, but I don't know enough about their commissioning process to say if la Plante's comments are true. I can say with some certainty I've never noticed any 19-year-old Muslims being credited for a script, but that's not something I'm interested in. If the script's good I don't care who wrote it.

Maxinquaye
01-03-2010, 04:27 AM
I don't want to say anything, because in essence a class system is a shackle. I don't know how it works in Scotland, but in England I've observed this.

I'm in no way "sensitive enough" to be able to pick up on most things, except when it's like a bull-horn next to my ear. I haven't lived in England long enough. But once you see it, it's fascinating.

I think the English has it like this to confuse us poor foreigners.

firedrake
01-03-2010, 04:33 AM
Sexism exist. Also, the UK is still in many ways a class-society; not because there are laws regulating class but because many people want it to be like that. UK wouldn't be as much "fun" if it wasn't so. People take a sort of pride in it, and keep to their class.

It's hard to explain how that can play, and it is really hard for foreigners to pick up on, while a brit would spot it at once. You could make shows that were totally unintelligible for the rest of the world where the plot hinged on this. Any brit would pick up on it at once, no one else would.

There are cues all the time, not least language clues that identify you belonging to a certain class at once. If you give off the wrong cues in a given situation, you can exclude yourself pretty quickly.

My favorite example of this is a gay movie, "Beautiful thing", where the main MC's mother gets involved with a middle class guy named Tony. A lot of the chuckles in the movie is about how Tony just misses all the cues, or tries to impose his middle class cues on people around him. He keeps going on about how the word 'bird disempowers women' for instance.

But this is a derail... I'll bow out now. It was the sexism that got me thinking about this.

But it can tie into the Beeb-fight. Lynda la Platt can also be arguing out of this position, the class position. I'm not sensitive enough to pick up on it, but any brit should be able to do so.

I'll comment on this derail. :D

You're absolutely right about the whole class thing.

My husband worked in horse racing when we lived in England, and it is something that is really evident there. He was a Head Lad, which meant that he was responsible for the day-to-day running of the yard. He told me of an owner who came to see his horse. My husband stood in the stable, holding the horse and the owner looked at him and said. "Could you turn the horse around, 'Boy'." Husband told the owner, in no uncertain terms, that he was the sodding Head Lad, not a 'Boy'.


There's a lot of snobbery about new money vs old money. People with 'old money' definitely look down on 'new money' people who are seen as 'vulgar'. Some things haven't changed since the 19th century.

Oddly enough, the people in racing that I knew, who were 'new money' were ruder to the stable staff. Old money people tended to treat the staff with a bit more respect.

As for Lynda La Plante. I would hazard a guess that she's more a victim of overexposure. One thing I have noticed about British media is that there's a 'flavor of the month' personality who gets crammed down people's throats, ad nauseum until someone else comes along to knock them off the throne. I remember having to put up with Carla Lane's stuff for ages, because, for a while, the BBC thought she could do no wrong. It did my nut. I never thought her writing was as good as the BBC and media reviewers thought it was. Then, people got bored with her and the media decided to brand her as a bit of a loony because she collects animals and her big old mansion is over-run with waifs and strays.

Polenth
01-03-2010, 04:45 AM
Sexism exist. Also, the UK is still in many ways a class-society; not because there are laws regulating class but because many people want it to be like that. UK wouldn't be as much "fun" if it wasn't so. People take a sort of pride in it, and keep to their class.

UK classism isn't fun or funny. People joke about all sorts of things to make the pain better, but it doesn't mean they want it to stay that way. It isn't fun to be treated like dirt because you're lower class... and no matter how well you do in life, that's always the way people will see you.

As for the original article, this doesn't sound like a woman who'd hedge her words. If she thought working class upstarts were stealing her job, I don't think she'd have been shy about saying it.

Maxinquaye
01-03-2010, 04:49 AM
I meant fun for me; it allows me to observe your doings either with slackjawed awe or facepalming sympathy ;)

Fran
01-03-2010, 05:08 AM
I don't want to say anything, because in essence a class system is a shackle. I don't know how it works in Scotland, but in England I've observed this.

It's less prevalent in Scotland, definitely. Apart from Edinburgh, but that's because no Scottish people live there. ;) And why a Scot voting Tory is like a national disgrace. :D

XxDethmetalxX
01-03-2010, 05:57 AM
This English class system is fascinating to me (being the ignorant American that I am)!

gothicangel
01-03-2010, 12:20 PM
I don't know what it's like in southern England but in the north [I'm a Geordie] I never felt constrained by a class system. I was well and truly entrenched in the 'working class' and never felt the victim of snobbery despite working for some of Northumberland's most powerful (The Duke of Northumberland, and Lord Blagdon.)

It's actually living in places like Stirling I've noticed snobbery: both rich and schemies treat you like s***. Over the last year a strange thing has happened, I find I've been kicked out of my beloved 'class'. Despite having 10 yrs of waitress experience I couldn't find work, the job I did land was an Assistant Manager!

And I friggin' hated it from start to end!

Samantha's_Song
01-03-2010, 02:55 PM
ITV has always been much better than BBC anyway; all of my most favourite programmes were/are on ITV: Morse, Frost, Taggart, Poirot, Lewis, Blue murder, Midsommer murders, and Lynda's Trial and retribution.

Oh, the BBC does do one programme I like, Spooks, but that's about it.

LuckyH
01-03-2010, 04:28 PM
The class system in Scotland is no different to the class system in England, itís just the spelling thatís different, Scotland has Lairds instead of Lords etc. On top of that, we all have the same Monarch, and having a Monarch at all means that the class system is alive and well.

I noticed that the BBC must have been ticked off recently about concentrating their weather reports on the London area, because suddenly they were showing some snow-bound country lane in Yorkshire without a living person in sight. But they forgot to get a northern commentator, and the posh southern voice didnít really fit in with the bleak scenery.

Momento Mori
01-03-2010, 06:54 PM
Telegraph Article:
“If my name were Usafi Iqbadal and I was 19, then they’d probably bring me in and talk,” said La Plante.

You know, I'm racking my brains trying to think of the last programme I saw on the BBC that was scripted by a young Muslim male and I'm coming up blank.

MM

jodiodi
01-03-2010, 07:21 PM
OK, add me to the list of people who has no idea who this person is being discussed.

aruna
01-03-2010, 07:34 PM
I don't want to be mean but a few click-throughs from that page led me to this novel excerpt from one of Britain's celebrity authors, published by PanMacmillan. I had never heard of her before, but she's one of the people LaPlante (whom I have heard of but never read/watched) is also griping about. Apparently, the author is a very famous British soap opera star; apparently, she got a huge advance for a three book contract of which this is the first.

Enjoy! (http://www.panmacmillan.com/themistress/)

As for favouritism towards minority writers/minority themes: I'm one of those and I haven't experiences anything of the sort, rather the opposite (we don't know how to sell this/readers aren't interested in minority stories).

Momento Mori
01-03-2010, 08:14 PM
aruna:
Apparently, the author is a very famous British soap opera star; apparently, she got a huge advance for a three book contract of which this is the first.

That would be the book by Martine McCutcheon who was Tiffany in Eastenders during the 1990s before leaving to launch a half-arsed and shortlived pop career (only song I remember is the first one 'This Is My Moment') and then tried to make it in Hollywood (only film you'll have seen her in is Love, Actually, when she was the love interest who worked for Hugh Grant's prime minister). Full career history is here (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0567356/) for those interested.

Now she's decided to be a novelist and yes, she did reportedly get a v. large advance on the 3 book contract. However, The Mistress got a critical drubbing and I believe that the sales figures were not as expected.

MM

Matera the Mad
01-04-2010, 12:25 AM
I'm not familiar with Lynda or the rest of the controversy. What I want to know is: what is that large black creature she has her left hand around?

It's feline, and about as natural looking as her hair

Adagio
01-04-2010, 01:01 AM
This English class system is fascinating to me (being the ignorant American that I am)!

Oh ... I believe that a classless America is just ... a myth!

Adagio

waylander
01-04-2010, 03:20 AM
I just thought Lynda La Plante's last series was shite and that they'd canned her because of that.
The BBC has had a lot of criticism for being 'too white' so I can imagine that they would be very happy if some 19 y.o. muslim author sent in something halfway decent.

gothicangel
01-04-2010, 03:25 AM
Yep, she was axed by ITV.

Fran
01-04-2010, 03:49 AM
ITV's on the point of financial collapse though, and probably has to use cheaper names than la Plante. STV had to refuse a series recently because it couldn't afford it*. (Collison). If ITV shut down it would take me weeks to notice, but the BBC iPlayer indulges my David Tennant obsession with lots and lots of Doctor Who repeats and that makes me happy. ;)

*I could have put a sarky comment here about it being because they have to show brain-meltingly dreadful regional programming but I'm far too ladylike. :D

XxDethmetalxX
01-04-2010, 05:52 AM
Oh ... I believe that a classless America is just ... a myth!

Adagio

I've never experienced it, considering I live in a small southern community where castes are nonexistent (I'm just counting down to college-can't wait to get out of this redneck infested shithole).

IceCreamEmpress
01-04-2010, 09:49 PM
I've never experienced it, considering I live in a small southern community where castes are nonexistent (I'm just counting down to college-can't wait to get out of this redneck infested shithole).

Um.

"Redneck" is a classist slur, traditionally hurled by white people with indoor jobs at white people with less-well-paying work at farm labor.

There is a lot of class tension in the US, but it's hard to see because you're soaking in it.

Adagio
01-04-2010, 10:27 PM
I've never experienced it, considering I live in a small southern community where castes are nonexistent (I'm just counting down to college-can't wait to get out of this redneck infested shithole).

I'm sure that here and there in this great country there're castes-less pockets.

But ... I do not think that I will ever be invited to a party on Fifth Avenue only because I'm cute and smart.

Unless I'm paid to clean up the mess after. Or before the party, to help in the kitchen.

Adagio

XxDethmetalxX
01-05-2010, 01:49 AM
Um.

"Redneck" is a classist slur, traditionally hurled by white people with indoor jobs at white people with less-well-paying work at farm labor.

There is a lot of class tension in the US, but it's hard to see because you're soaking in it.
A Redneck, at least where I live, is not a poorly paid farmer, but a person with proud-to-be-southern attitude, confederate flags decorating his/her vehicle, a passion for hunting, and (most typically) atrocious grammar. They are redneck and proud of it.

Though last night I was thinking about it and I realized that, upon my recent venture into Downtown Roanoke, there is definitely a division in the more urban areas.

jodiodi
01-05-2010, 02:47 AM
A Redneck, at least where I live, is not a poorly paid farmer, but a person with proud-to-be-southern attitude, confederate flags decorating his/her vehicle, a passion for hunting, and (most typically) atrocious grammar. They are redneck and proud of it.

Hm.

I'm proud to be Southern.

However, I have no confederate flags anywhere, loathe hunting and have excellent grammar.

By no stretch of the imagination am I a redneck. Even by that "You Might Be a Redneck if ..." guy's standards.

XxDethmetalxX
01-05-2010, 03:02 AM
Hm.

I'm proud to be Southern.

However, I have no confederate flags anywhere, loathe hunting and have excellent grammar.

By no stretch of the imagination am I a redneck. Even by that "You Might Be a Redneck if ..." guy's standards.
>The janitor is affectionately known as Dan "Git 'r done" Garrison (it is even on the door of his office)
>The urinals are full of chewing tobacco
>On the first day of hunting season, half the school is out on excused absence
>On camo day nobody has to "dress up"
>Dixie Outfitters
>Jacked up trucks covered in mud from yesterday's mud bog fill the parking lot
>Say a word with more than five letters and they will demand that you speak English
>The buses only play country music
The list goes on, but hopefully you get the picture.

Even those who do not fit under the category of "Redneck" are still in the same "class." Nobody around here really cares, which is one of the few benefits of living in a small town (another is the excellent food at the local diner).

Technophobe
01-05-2010, 09:23 AM
Well, I don't know who Lynda La Plante is, but from reading that article, it seems she's upset about anyone besides her getting work. And that "little Muslim boy" comment jerked me the wrong way, too. She might not actually have a problem with Muslims, but she sure sounds like she does (in my opinion).

LuckyH
01-05-2010, 09:59 AM
Well, I don't know who Lynda La Plante is, but from reading that article, it seems she's upset about anyone besides her getting work. And that "little Muslim boy" comment jerked me the wrong way, too. She might not actually have a problem with Muslims, but she sure sounds like she does (in my opinion).

She was only saying that the government-owned BBC was bending over backwards to appease the minorities, and the most easily recognised minority in the West is the Muslim one. I suppose you could applaud her for using a Muslim example at all, it could lead to deadly consequences in our crazy world where scouring the most innocent sources for any reference to Islam that could be taken the wrong way has turned into a national pastime.

IceCreamEmpress
01-05-2010, 11:25 PM
She was only saying that the government-owned BBC was bending over backwards to appease the minorities, and the most easily recognised minority in the West is the Muslim one.

The what, in the where, now?

Those of us in the Western Hemisphere point and laugh at this statement. Note: "The West" doesn't mean "Europe and the UK."

gothicangel
01-05-2010, 11:29 PM
Is there such a thing as an 'easily recognised minority?'

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK with 10% being white.

LuckyH
01-06-2010, 12:45 AM
The what, in the where, now?

Those of us in the Western Hemisphere point and laugh at this statement. Note: "The West" doesn't mean "Europe and the UK."

The biggest part of the West is the US, surely you would have known that?

LuckyH
01-06-2010, 12:50 AM
Is there such a thing as an 'easily recognised minority?'

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK with 10% being white.

That's precisely my point, the easily recognised minority, whether they're whilte, black or pink.