Our thanks to Tim for this. The start of the piece:
A young Monty Python would not get their big break on the BBC today because they are “six Oxbridge white blokes”, the corporation’s head of comedy has said as he launched a new drive for diversity.
Shane Allen said comedy on the BBC must represent the nation, with audiences discovering “the stories that haven’t been told and the voices we haven’t yet heard”.
In decades past, Cambridge Footlights was the breeding ground for BBC talent, from members of Monty Python to The Goodies, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
But times are changing, said Allen. He cited Famalam, a BBC Three sketch show with an all-black cast that fits the “comedy gang” template. [J4MB: We’ll surely be celebrating their genius in 2068.]
“It’s 50 years since Python. If we’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes, it’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world and have got something to say that’s different and we haven’t seen before.”
I’ve just taken delivery of the 8-series box set of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. It cost £14.25 on Amazon. The series was broadcast over 1974-81. BBC comedy has, ironically, been a joke ever since.