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John Simkin

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At one time Panorama was BBC leading current affairs programme. However, it was moved from its usual prime-time spot to make way for “popular” entertainment programmes. It was consigned to 10.30 on a Sunday night (a time when most people are unwilling to contemplate serious issues. Understandably, viewing figures have been bad. Peter Horrocks, the head of current affairs, apparently has suggested that Panorama is “too distant, demanding, difficult and didactic” and needs to change in order to improve its ratings. However, Kevin Rooney, of Queen’s School, said in today’s Guardian: “My A-level politics students mostly refuse to watch Panorama, not because it’s too long and clever, but because it’s over-sensationalised and moralistic.” It has been suggested that in future Panorama should work closely with EastEnders. The idea being that the soap will raise issues that will then be explored on Panorama.

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