BBC TV boss: We don’t know what causes drama sound problems
The BBC is at a loss to explain why some of its dramas are struck by sound problems that render dialogue inaudible, the corporation’s television chief has admitted.
Charlotte Moore, the controller of the broadcaster’s television channels, said the organisation had found it “incredibly hard to get to the bottom” of problems with shows such as Happy Valley, the BBC Two drama, which was the subject of viewer complaints over mumbling actors.
Appearing at an event hosted by the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, Ms Moore said that her staff had looked in detail at the sound levels of Happy Valley, which stars Sarah Lancashire, but could not diagnose what had gone wrong.
She said: “Sound has been a big issue. After episode one we took everything back into the edit to try to really get that delineation and worked very hard to make it feel crisper and change those levels. It is something we take incredibly seriously.
“It is incredibly hard to get to the bottom of where things go wrong. It is often a bringing together of several circumstances, so that in those rare situations where there are sound issues it is quite hard for us to isolate that there is any one particular problem.
“It is often several different problems coming together. Sound is a very exact science.”
The executive’s comments came as the BBC pledged to boost the amount of British music on Radio 1 and Radio 2, at the expense of songs by American artists.
The stations were criticised in a government-backed report that said they had a “significant overlap” with rivals, a charge the BBC denies.
The corporation said that 55 per cent of songs played on Radio 1 were by British artists, but it was happy for new quotas to be imposed, to raise the level.
The executive responsible for bringing JK Rowling’s first novel for adults to the television screen is to become the BBC’s new head of drama.
It is understood that Lucy Richer, who was executive producer of the BBC’s adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, will take over from Polly Hill, who jumped ship to ITV earlier this month.
Currently a drama commissioning editor at the corporation, Richer’s credits include Top of the Lake, The A-Word, and Capital.