back to article BBC mulls talent Twitter ban to prevent storyline spoilers

A ban on the use of Twitter and other public forums is being considered by BBC bosses, in an effort to prevent stars and writers from talking about details of the broadcaster's confidential upcoming productions online. The Guardian, which cites senior sources, reports that BBC execs are mulling over the possibility of tweaking …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely the first response

    would be to blacklist anyone blabbing secrets so they get no further work from the Beeb?

    1. david bates
      Thumb Up

      In that case...

      The loss of Stephen Fry will leave a gaping (and blessed) hole in the schedules...

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        oh gawd

        blessed does not encompass the relief...

    2. mafoo


      or give Sophie Ellis-Bextor a Police record....

      de dum cha.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Avoid at all costs.

    "Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor recently let slip on Twitter that she would appear alongside Sting in a new BBC comedy series fronted by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant called Life's Too Short."

    I very much appreciate her warning and will be keeping well clear.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The real reason the BBC want this

    is so we can't avoid some of the shit they peddle.

    Sophie Ellis Bextor and Sting in a comedy with Ricky Gervais ? Reminds me, haven't washed my hair for a while.

    1. Richard 120


      Reminds me I haven't slashed my wrists in a while

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: similar

        Shame. They've scheduled it opposite: "Colourful coverings - a detailed look at the curing processes of decorative liquid surface treatments" on the Discovery Channel. No competition really.

    2. QuiteEvilGraham


      Life is definitely too short to watch these unfunny twats.

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Agreed - this is a useful warning system

      Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sting, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant? It's like the Four Horsemen of the Broadcasting Apocalypse.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Twitter... about the Beeb stop bloody mentioning tweeter / facebook every 5 minutes on their radio shows.

  5. Gav

    Sting/Ellis Bextor

    Sounds like a winning combination of the gritty social concerns of "Murder on the dawnce floor" mixed with the laughs of "Dune". It can't miss!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not just the radio

      They do it on programmes too. I actually complained about them giving so much free advertising to them when their mandate supposedly prevents it and the response I got was that they were unaware that they were giving them advertising and so didn't have to do anything about it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also on their TV shows

      The BBC should be promoting open internet communication, not these two American corporations.

      Stick to email and WWW please.

    3. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      Couldn't agree more

      Advertising these commercial services incessantly is a particularly egregious abuse of license payers' money.

  6. 7mark7

    The BBC.

    Isn't that the organisation that covers it's web-site with links to twitter so you can twit about it's programmes?

  7. Mycho Silver badge

    Simple solution

    If stars want to use twitter, they must make three bad jokes per day about imaginary projects at the beeb. Then if they let a real one slip who'll know?

    1. Pete B

      Re: Simple solution

      "If stars want to use twitter, they must make three jokes per day about imaginary bad projects at the beeb. Then if they let a real one slip who'll know?"

      There - fixed it for you.

    2. dave 46

      It's obvious

      If they could come up with 3 laughably bad shows a day they'd be in charge of light entertainment not parading in front of the camera.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        The BBC is already years ahead of it's quota for producing laughably bad shows ...

        Though they could throw in a few daft ones...

        Strictly Sharia - where the audience phone in to determine which parts get lopped off which body....I can think of a couple of people I'd like to see as contestants there....

        Taliban X Factor - where each Terry has five minutes to demonstrate their individual talents

        Footballer and Actor Whodunnit? - where the studio audience tries to determine which footballer has had relations with which skank and how much cash changed hands,with your genial host Max Clifford.

        Super Injunction - where the six celebrites in the panel dance round the subject without revealing names..a kind of 'whats my line' show but with more lawyers.

        Anything with Jordan - a new dating show, like Mr & Mrs but no longer than 24 hours duration.

        A return of Professor Brian Cox and his Orchestra performing hits from such timeless classics as 'slap my beeyatch cap in do ass' and other Transatlantic favourites.

  8. Danny 14 Silver badge


    how about a ban on twitter because its annoying?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Shirley the Beeb have it written into the talent's contracts that they are not allowed to blab ahead of PR announcements? If they do then it shouldn't be a problem, if they blab the Beeb should sue them. If OTOH the Beeb don't have this stuff already written into the contracts then it needs fixing.

    Changing the contracts to ban talent from using twitter, etc. is half arsed since it doesn't stop them from telling a friend who then tweets it or just plain blabs to the press. A contractual obligation to discuss it with nobody until the beeb allows it would make much more sense. OTOH it wouldn't have got the Grauniad a headline involving the word Twitter.

    1. Annihilator


      Completely agree - surely a non-disclosure agreement is one of the first things you'd want to be writing into contracts? And what the f*&^ has Twitter/FB got to do with it? Surely newspaper interviews et al have the same potential for spoiler alerts.

  10. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    And managers too?

    "The Grauniad, which cites senior sources, reports that BBC execs are... "

    So the execs can't keep their mouths shut either? Or is it OK if you have a key to the room with gold toilets?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They don't need toilets - have you not seen The Human Centipede?

  11. mafoo


    "The BBC is not banning the use of Twitter by talent or writers."

    Unless your Jason Manford that is...

    1. NogginTheNog


      ...Jason Manford is stretching the accepted meaning of the words talent and writer.

  12. Graham Marsden

    Pots and kettles come to mind...

    ... given the way the BBC manage to spoil upcoming drama with trailers that give away big plot points or the return of the Cybermen in Doctor Who by putting a bloody Cyberman on the front cover of the Radio Times...!!!

  13. XMAN

    Radio 1

    i guess this explains why Chris Moyles made a joke on the radio 1 show this morning about not being allowed to mention twitter.

  14. NoneSuch
    Thumb Down


    So this is why no one is saying who the new Stig is... Drat...

  15. Richard Porter

    Making a big splash?

    You mean trailing the programme ad nausiam for a fortnight before it goes out.

  16. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Misleading headline

    You mentioned "talent".

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Simple ...

    ... no second series for any show with gobby actors.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Sophie Ellis-Bextor...

    ...a singer? Which day was that, then?

    Singer is that last thing I'd describe that old rhomboid face as being.......

  19. Graham Bartlett

    A solution

    You let it slip on Twitter, you get replaced. Job done.

    Let's be honest, which of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sting, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant can you not do without? Sting at least has some musical talent, but he's no actor. And the other three would have problems talenting their way out of a wet paper bag - can't sing, can't act, can't dance and can't write.

    I really have problems understanding why the BBC hires the people it does. "The Office" would have been a moderately funny one-hour stand-alone show. As a series, it sucked donkey balls - and everything Gervais has done since has been immeasurably worse. But they still keep paying him to do stuff! Then there's Russell Brand, the antidote to comedy - even if he's given a funny line, he'll make it awful. And Chris Moyles, the reason Radio 1 listening figures take a nosedive weekday mornings. And Jonathan Ross, the reason Radio 2 listening figures take a nosedive weekend afternoons. Being an boring, arrogant arsehole doesn't somehow make you "edgy".

  20. thegladfan

    Free advertising is not a bad thing

    Rather than see this as a bad thing the BBC (which is not funded by advertising) should embrace social networking and use it as an unofficial method of advertising things.

    The fact that celebrities have litterally millions of followers should be a great source of viewers, the bbc cant advertise like other channels do, they cant justify spending the licence payers money. So rather than banning social networking just issue some guidelines so not to spoil viewing pleasure.

    I dont want to know the script but if i know someone is doing a new show im more likely to watch it if its on twitter these days.

    Come on bbc embrace dont scold

  21. asiaseen

    Having never heard of the woman,

    I checked her website and now shall consign her to my dustbin of history.

  22. 9538


    very interesting

  23. Lamont Cranston

    I'd like plenty of advance warning

    of anything featuring Ms. Bextor, Messers Gervais & Merchant, and Sting.

    Would anyone like to buy my TV?

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