Did BBC pass up All Creatures revamp because it was too WHITE?

BBC bosses are refusing to reveal if they turned down Channel 5 hit All Creatures Great And Small because the series is 'too white'.

The beloved Yorkshire-based story of veterinary surgeon James Herriot has drawn in three million viewers and is the broadcaster's best-rated original commission ever.

But the show's producer has revealed that the Corporation was given first refusal but passed on the series, fearing that it would not appeal to 16 to 34-year-old viewers.

The BBC, home to the original adaptation which aired in the 1970s and 1980s, reportedly said it would only make a pilot episode.

Sir Colin Callender of Playground, the production company behind the remake, said the BBC 'had concerns about whether it would speak to a younger audience and, I think, whether or not the show could emerge from the shadow of the first series'. 

Now the troubled Corporation, which is undergoing an overdue overhaul as questions of its alleged bias persist, is refusing to say if it rejected All Creatures Great And Small because the series is 'too white'.

BBC bosses are refusing to reveal if they turned down Channel 5 hit All Creatures Great And Small because the series is 'too white' (pictured, Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson and Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot in the 1970s series remake)

BBC bosses are refusing to reveal if they turned down Channel 5 hit All Creatures Great And Small because the series is 'too white' (pictured, Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson and Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot in the 1970s series remake)

The beloved Yorkshire-based story of veterinary surgeon James Herriot has drawn in three million viewers and is the broadcaster's best-rated original commission ever

The beloved Yorkshire-based story of veterinary surgeon James Herriot has drawn in three million viewers and is the broadcaster's best-rated original commission ever

Now the BBC, which passed on All Creatures amid fears it would not appeal to 16 to 34-year-olds, is refusing to say if it rejected All Creatures because the series is 'too white'. It follows claims made about Channel 5's programming by boss Ben Frow (pictured)

Now the BBC, which passed on All Creatures amid fears it would not appeal to 16 to 34-year-olds, is refusing to say if it rejected All Creatures because the series is 'too white'. It follows claims made about Channel 5's programming by boss Ben Frow (pictured)

Speaking at the virtual Edinburgh TV Festival last month, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow said: 'Yorkshire is very white. We have to make much more effort. 

'Sometimes when I'm talking to producers they say: 'It's very white' and I say, 'Find them, you've got to make the extra effort', that is something that is always in the back of our minds, though.' 

A later episode of the current All Creatures series will feature a new storyline centring on the experience of a black character.

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