Six BBC shows suspended after Queen Elizabeth II’s death
Image via BBC
When an event brings together the nations of the United Kingdom, the BBC is the service everyone turns to.
In 2022, the British Broadcasting Corporation celebrates its 100th anniversary as the world’s oldest national broadcaster. Operating across multimedia – television, radio, digital – and under royal charter, it is one of the UK’s great institutions. In British culture, it’s up there with the red buses and the royal family.
It is not surprising that the sudden illness and death of Elizabeth II this week has significantly affected UK television The death of a monarch is a carefully choreographed process. The continuity of the crown is vital to the functioning of the British parliamentary system and the management of public grief. While the succession process is being carefully planned, all bets are off on television programming. The intervals between the various announcements are filled with frantic speculation from experts and one-off interviews with citizens reacting to the news. It’s a significant event that forces major channels to clear their schedules, especially the BBC, meaning no show is safe from being removed from the schedule.
From the moment the announcement was made that the Queen was under medical supervision, the BBC immediately cleared its schedule until 6:00 p.m. BST in the evening. The news of the death of Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III fell at 6:30 p.m. BBC schedules will be under constant review during the upcoming period of national mourning which will run until the monarch’s state funeral.
As the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in 2021 proves, television programming is a balancing act. With every programming decision, the BBC risks being portrayed as disrespectful or overly respectful. When it comes to the end of the reign of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, there will be big changes to programs and viewing times.
Here are the six shows we know have been affected so far.
Drag Race Canada
There is some confusion over BBC protocol during a time of national mourning. Some have questioned a leaked internal memo a few years ago that suggested the Company would cancel all comedy launches for the duration. It doesn’t seem like a hard and fast rule, but it definitely affects BBC iPlayer – the BBC’s online and on-demand service. The season finale of Drag Race Canada the third season did not appear on the morning of September 9, and no new release date was announced.
do i have any news for you
The Friday episode of BBC One’s flagship satirical panel do i have any news for you was abandoned. Just a week before, the long-running show aired an uncompromising and tongue-in-cheek farewell to outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, next week’s news episode is scheduled as usual.
The high-profile celebrity cooking contest was canceled the night the Queen died, with no new air date set. Unfortunately, the semi-final episode which was due to air on September 8 would have featured celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Drag Race United Kingdom
Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race United Kingdom was supposed to be released on September 2, but that was also postponed. Although there has been no confirmation of a new launch date, this means that no promotion or broadcast will take place on BBC networks during the mourning period.
Come dance strictly
Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC’s flagship celebrity pageant and a gem of its autumn schedule, was due to start its 20th season on September 17. As it is two days before the Queen’s state funeral, the launch show has been postponed, with no new date yet announced.
The last night of the balls
The highlight of the 2022 ball season, a staple of the Royal Albert Hall – of which Queen Elizabeth II was one of the patrons – has been cancelled. As the reality of the events of September 8 became clear, the Proms ended prematurely on the same day. A key event in the British cultural calendar, the rousing renditions of British classics and in particular the British national anthem will be sorely missed.
On September 9, the BBC’s flagship station, BBC One, canceled all programming to broadcast news updates and specially prepared programs to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Many BBC One programs have moved to BBC Two, including regular daytime shows Coast, Houses under the hammer, Bargain huntingand long lasting soap Doctorswhich continued into the evening, when the BBC’s flagship soap opera Eastenders also aired on BBC Two.
The BBC’s flagship magazine The only show was completely abandoned. BBC Three and BBC Four posted detention cards on the night of the Queen’s death, although schedules returned to relative normality the following day, with the BBC retaining event-specific content on its main channel.
It is very possible that other emissions will be affected. You can guarantee that BBC programmers scan every program for content that references the late Queen. The premieres of new shows in the fall season may well be affected. If you’re looking forward to a particular schedule in September, be sure to keep an eye out for last-minute schedule changes.