Fanny Hill, one of the most notorious novels of all time, which was banned in the UK in 1749 and in the USA in 1821 has been adapted for a new two part TV adaptation on BBC4 by Andrew Davies, the BAFTA award winning dramatist of Bleak House and Pride and Prejudice.
The Daily Telegraph describe what sounds like a very “interesting” program:
Within the opening 10 minutes, the 15-year-old Fanny, played by the 22-year-old unknown Rebecca Night, is being seduced by a woman in a brothel.
In other scenes Fanny is shown naked, losing her virginity and fighting off a rapist. Fanny and several of the other female characters appear topless during the drama and scenes of orgies that follow.
Obviously Telegraph Arts and Media Editor Chris Hastings needed to pad out his article a little, so he called “Massah” John Beyer for a suitably outraged quote. Beyer predictably provides one:
However, John Beyer, the director of Mediawatch-UK, the viewers’ watchdog, last night accused the BBC of investing in sleaze so it could raise the profile of BBC4, the digital channel on which the programme will be screened.
He said: “At a time when resources are short I am surprised that the BBC wants to invest in this kind of sleaze. It is just a promotion for prostitution.”
Beyer seems to be setting himself up as a campaigner for reducing costs at the BBC, as a recent comment (also from the Telegraph, they must have a hotline to Beyer!) on the BBC increasing its repeats also shows. It would be a noble campaign if it wasn’t for the fact that his idea for reducing costs involves not showing anything that offends him.