Some BBC staff are ‘fundamentally workshy’: Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio says broadcaster is inefficient and claims some staff have an issue with their ‘work ethic’

  •  Jed Mercurio called the BBC ‘inefficient’ and described some staff as ‘work-shy’
  •  Added in the Radio Times there are some people he ‘avoids like the plague’
  • Comments come after the creator of Channel 4’s It’s a Sin said BBC is doomed 

The creator of several of the BBC’s biggest shows says it is one of the ‘least efficient’ broadcasters and claims some staff are ‘work-shy’.

Jed Mercurio – best known for writing Line Of Duty and Bodyguard – said the BBC had ‘real’ issues that needed to be ‘reformed’.

His comments come after Russell T Davies, creator of the Channel 4 hit It’s a Sin, said the BBC was ‘doomed’ as a drama producer.

Asked if he agreed, Mercurio, 55, told Radio Times: ‘I don’t know if it’s doomed. Russell’s pretty smart, so he may see this more clearly than me. It’s a tricky one.

Jed Mercurio says the BBC has ‘real’ issues which need reform as he described some staff as ‘work-shy’ 

‘I think the BBC has some issues that are real – and need to be reformed – and some that are misperception problems.’

He added: ‘It’s still one of the least efficient broadcasters, in my opinion, from my experience of others. There are institutional issues – around levels of professionalism and work ethic, to be honest.

‘I am very fortunate that, in the course of my career, I’ve migrated towards the people I have a good working relationship with, who are supportive and carry out their professional duties in the right way so we can address concerns in good time.

‘But there are people within the BBC who I avoid like the plague because they have been there a long time and they are fundamentally work-shy.’

Doctor Who writer Davies previously told Gaby Roslin on her podcast that while drama is in a ‘golden age’ with streaming giants such as Netflix, the state of traditional broadcasters ‘is not so magnificent’.

She asked: ‘Is it heading that way [to extinction]?’ He said: ‘I think the BBC is, right now … I don’t think [TV] is.’

Jed Mercurio’s sixth series of Line of Duty, starring Martin Compston (right) and Shalom Brune-Franklin, starts Sunday 

Jed Mercurio also created Bodyguard starring Richard Madden (left) and Keeley Hawes (right)

Mercurio, whose highly-anticipated sixth series of Line of Duty begins on Sunday night, also took aim at BAFTA.

Asked if he felt overlooked by the organisation having not won an award since his breakthrough in 1994 with Cardiac Arrest, he said: ‘Organisations such as Bafta don’t have an institutional attitude to my work.

‘Bafta movie awards are voted for by the Academy membership, which is thousands and thousands of people voting for the films they admire the most, but, for whatever reason, Bafta has decided that the best way to determine its TV awards is to appoint one of their chums to chair a jury, and that person gets their chums in to form a jury and, between them, they decide who wins.

‘Juries in the legal justice system are predicated on the fact that jurors don’t know each other, and they don’t know the defendant. But, in Bafta, they all know each other, and they all know the defendants. So I think there’s room for reform.’

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