The BBC have come under fire today as it is revealed they have begun taking bids from various commercial companies on ad-space which would potentially be cut to in the event that Bruce Forsyth dies on air during ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. The BBC famously refuses to include commercial breaks in their general programming, but new director-general Tony Hall has decided to capitalise on the unique position of continuing to put an 85 year old man on live TV.
The proposal states that, in the event that Mr. Forsyth dies on air, BBC producers will, as is common practise, cut away to a commercial. What this commercial will be remains to be seen.
Many reports say offers have been in the 7 digit range, not surprising given the huge ratings ‘Strictly’ already receives, not to mention the estimated extra millions of people who would tune in because of the excitement of a national icon dying live on screen. Add to that the press coverage which would undoubtedly include myriad articles and reports about how the broadcasters desperately cut to an ad break for [insert brand], and it starts to look like a super-bowl-level piece of potential advertising space.
At present, the top bidder is Random House publishing, who have reportedly offered £5 million to advertise ‘… To see you, nice - the official biography of Brucie’ in the potential aftermath of Forsyth’s death.