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TV bosses too scared to take risks: Meera Syal

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Meera Syal, who is best known for her work in television shows such as Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, has said the “risk-taking has gone” when TV bosses commission productions.

The 62-year-old actress and writer told BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show, “We have been told, ‘This is fantastic writing, this is a fantastic script, but it doesn’t really fit out remit at the moment’. Is remit another word for algorithm? I don’t know.”

She continued, “I understand why people are being cautious and there’s all kinds of budgetary squeezes on. You don’t always know the exact reasons, you just know the effects and the effect at the moment for a lot of creatives is that this isn’t the time to push anything that’s too outside the box, which is a sad thing to say.”

Syal recalled how she grew up in an age of classic comedies in the 1970s. “I grew up in an age of classic comedies in the 1970s, some of which wouldn’t pass muster now in terms of some of the attitudes, but actually you can still look at things like Dad’s Army – the love of that will never leave me – the fact was, it was a flourishing environment and you were allowed to make mistakes. You were allowed to chuck something out there and see if it stuck. I think now the risk-taking has gone. I think people are afraid to go, ‘well, that looks a bit out there, but let’s do a series and see,’” she said.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates and reveals.

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