ViacomCBS UK Content Chief Ben Frow Blasts “Inherently Snobbish” British TV Industry

ViacomCBS[1] Networks UK’s director of programs Ben Frow[2] has said the British TV industry is “inherently snobbish” and should care less about what people’s backgrounds are and more about their talent.

Frow admitted that he has “got a big chip on my shoulder” about a lack of inclusivity in the business, revealing at the Edinburgh TV Festival[3] today that he was “floored” by a snobbish remark made by a rival a few years ago about his education.

More from Deadline

“I was at Edinburgh a few years ago and a competitor of mine said to me, as I was about to walk out on stage for a debate: ‘You know for someone who hasn’t got a degree you’ve done very well to be up on this stage with us.’

“It actually floored me. I could get a bit tearful about it. I can’t believe you’d make a judgment about whether I have a degree or not. Who gives a s**t? I don’t know who’s got a degree in my team. They’re certainly a lot cleverer than I am but they’re not as talented as I am…that’s why I’m the boss.

“It’s not all about education, it is about talent. One of the things I like most about the job is the ability to promote and fast track talent.”

Frow, who described himself as the “most creative” network boss in the UK, said he has the same approach to diversity, saying it is “soul-destroying” to hear the same conversations around improving inclusion. He was speaking a day after presenter David Olusoga delivered a blistering MacTaggart Lecture[4], in which he called out decades of false dawns on diversity in the industry.

“I’m pleased with how we do on-screen we do better than some of our competitors. The team have tasked with every program being representative,” Frow said, pointing to recently-announced ViacomCBS initiatives[5].

“What I like is when we can sit down as a commissioning team and say right we’re going to do a no diversity no commissioning policy. If the production companies are not diverse we don’t really want to work with them. And if the production teams making our programs aren’t diverse then they simply won’t get the money.”

Frow recounted a conversation he had a couple of weeks ago with a production company, which said it only had someone junior who was from a BAME background and could not find anyone above that level. When the producer was told that it wouldn’t get the money, it found a more diverse assistant producer within a week. “I do believe if every broadcaster had a no diversity no commission policy what a difference would that make,” he added.

He reflected on a good of ratings year for Channel 5, thanks to a slew of what he called “warm, fuzzy” shows that have attracted viewers during lockdown, such as Our Yorkshire Farm, which were initially commissioned “as a rebellion against Brexit” but appealed to viewers as respite from coronavirus.

He also highlighted the forthcoming remake of All Creatures Great And Small as an example of how much Channel 5 has changed. The PBS co-production, which is likely to return for a second season[6], premieres on September 1 in the UK and is made by Colin Callender’s Playground.

In a fast-paced session, Frow also said he wants to do more property shows next year in response to people moving to the country due to coronavirus and an Anne Boleyn drama, as well as making Channel 5 “less safe.”

Sign up for Deadline’s Newsletter[7]. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook[8], Twitter[9], and Instagram[10].


  1. ^ ViacomCBS (
  2. ^ Ben Frow (
  3. ^ Edinburgh TV Festival (
  4. ^ David Olusoga delivered a blistering MacTaggart Lecture (
  5. ^ recently-announced ViacomCBS initiatives (
  6. ^ likely to return for a second season (
  7. ^ Deadline’s Newsletter (
  8. ^ Facebook (
  9. ^ Twitter (
  10. ^ Instagram (

Source URL: Read More
The public content above was dynamically discovered – by graded relevancy to this site’s keyword domain name. Such discovery was by systematic attempts to filter for “Creative Commons“ re-use licensing and/or by Press Release distributions. “Source URL” states the content’s owner and/or publisher. When possible, this site references the content above to generate its value-add, the dynamic sentimental analysis below, which allows us to research global sentiments across a multitude of topics related to this site’s specific keyword domain name. Additionally, when possible, this site references the content above to provide on-demand (multilingual) translations and/or to power its “Read Article to Me” feature, which reads the content aloud to visitors. Where applicable, this site also auto-generates a “References” section, which appends the content above by listing all mentioned links. Views expressed in the content above are solely those of the author(s). We do not endorse, offer to sell, promote, recommend, or, otherwise, make any statement about the content above. We reference the content above for your “reading” entertainment purposes only. Review “DMCA & Terms”, at the bottom of this site, for terms of your access and use as well as for applicable DMCA take-down request.

Acquire this Domain
You can acquire this site’s domain name! We have nurtured its online marketing value by systematically curating this site by the domain’s relevant keywords. Explore our content network – you can advertise on each or rent vs. buy the domain. | Skype: TLDtraders | +1 (475) BUY-NAME (289 – 6263). Thousands search by this site’s exact keyword domain name! Most are sent here because search engines often love the keyword. This domain can be your 24/7 lead generator! If you own it, you could capture a large amount of online traffic for your niche. Stop wasting money on ads. Instead, buy this domain to gain a long-term marketing asset. If you can’t afford to buy then you can rent the domain.

About Us
We are Internet Investors, Developers, and Franchisers – operating a content network of several thousand sites while federating 100+ eCommerce and SaaS startups. With our proprietary “inverted incubation” model, we leverage a portfolio of $100M in valued domains to impact online trends, traffic, and transactions. We use robotic process automation, machine learning, and other proprietary approaches to power our content network. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your online marketing and/or site maintenance.