BBC axes Ben Elton's The Wright Way

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 July 2013
Ben Elton

Ben Elton

Ben Elton's sitcom 'The Wright Way' and Sue Perkins' 'Heading Out' has been axed bythe BBC after the creators fell victim to online scrutiny

Ben Elton's sitcom 'The Wright Way' has been axed.

The 54-year-old comedian refused to pen a second series of the BBC One show - which stars David Haig and is set in a local council's health and safety department - after he was left "bruised" by vicious online abuse following the airing of the programme earlier in the year.

Shane Allen, BBC's Controller of Comedy Commissioning, said: "Ben was really bruised by the reception. He felt, 'If people aren't loving this, I am not going to put myself through it again.'

"Maybe 10, 15 years ago, you might have gone, 'What did people like about it? Which are the characters that worked?' But people are quick to crucify these days.

"People feel passionate and that's good, but I do worry in a world of social media and Twitter that people are saying, 40 seconds in, 'This is s**t'.

"A lot of things are loved retrospectively. 'Only Fools and Horses' took two series before it bedded in. The danger is people give up and channel controllers lose their nerve. I find it quite depressing."

Sue Perkins' latest sitcom 'Heading Out' - which focuses on a vet who failed to tell her parents she was a lesbian - has also been dropped for a second series after it was criticised by people on social media and failed to draw in more than a million viewers when it ended.

Speaking to the Broadcasting Press Guild, Shane added: "She felt she had achieved what she wanted to achieve and didn't feel she wanted to do any more. Sue is a massively important figure for BBC Two and there are other pilots being discussed."

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