BBC will not broadcast new David Attenborough documentary in latest impartiality row

The BBC has been drawn into another impartiality dispute after it emerged it would not air a documentary about the destruction of Britain’s nature amid claims of political pressure.

Saving our wild islandsa documentary commissioned by the RSPB and the World Wildlife Fund, starring Sir David Attenborough, will be placed on iPlayer but not shown on BBC channels.

The program is linked to a major RSPB, WWF and National Trust campaign due to start next week.

It documents the dramatic decline in wildlife and natural habitats across Britain, including wetlands, wildflower meadows and woodland.

BBC insiders claimed the show was not broadcast because the company feared it would lead to political attacks from the Conservative Party and farming and hunting lobbies Guardian reported.

Saving our wild islands will be released concurrently with the BBC’s landmark natural history series Wild Islandsthe first presented by Sir David, focusing solely on Great Britain.

This 5 part program will be broadcast on BBC One in a prime time slot. It was co-produced by the RSPB and WWF, who also helped fund it.

The decision to accept money from the charities has caused “a lot of internal anguish” within the company, the Radio Times reported last week.

The BBC is no longer able to independently fund large wildlife programs and usually relies on deals with foreign broadcasters.

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Both the RSPB and WWF have come under attack from Conservative MPs after they and several other wildlife organizations launched a major campaign against former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ efforts to dismantle environmental protections.

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They have also slammed the Retained EU Law Bill, which threatens to destroy dozens of European laws protecting the environment.

This was announced by a BBC source Guardian that it was “disingenuous” to keep the two documentaries separate.

The RSPB, BBC and WWF all insisted I that the programs were entirely separate and should never be viewed as related projects.

The company is already embroiled in a major row over comments by BBC football presenter Gary Lineker about the government’s refugee policy. Its general manager Tim Davie has promised to take a tougher stance on impartiality.

A BBC spokesman said: “Wild Islands consists of five episodes: Our Precious Isles, Woodland, Grassland, Freshwater and Ocean. Saving our wild islands is a separate film inspired by the series commissioned by the RSPB and WWF. We bought it for iPlayer.”

Deadline reporter Jake Kanter too tweeted The BBC had released a new statement calling the Guardian’s report “completely inaccurate”.


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