THE BBC is to launch an ambitious Â£200m initiative which could eventually lead to it not interrupting every single one of its own television programmes.
The corporation said it was responding to viewer demand after 420 million people complained about the last five minutes of Doctor Who being comprehensively ruined by a gay caption.
Director general Mark Thompson said: “Over the years the BBC has invested Â£1.7bn on the machines we use to make those little graphics that pop up at the end of your favourite shows to advertise your other favourite shows.
“The next stage of the digital revolution will be to work out how not to use those machines at that particular moment.”
The scheme will explore a series of options including asking the man who makes the graphics appear on the screen not to do it just yet, unplugging the machine when a programme is on and creating a digitised version of Christine Bleakley to pop up five minutes before the end of each programme and announce that there will be no annoying graphics to spoil your viewing enjoyment.
The budget will also include Â£100m for the BBC’s top 4000 executives to travel to 37 foreign countries to find out how they manage to not interrupt their own programmes.
Mr Thompson added: “The Norwegians have an interesting approach to this which is to wait until one programme is finished before promoting the other programmes. But if Norway told you to jump off a cliff would you do it?
“What I need to do is meet the head of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation at the Hotel Du Cap in Antibes and ask him to tell me to jump off a cliff. And then we’ll take it from there.”
Meanwhile friends of Britain’s Doctor Who fans have admitted that it may now be time to stage some sort of intervention.
Joanna Kramer, friend of a 46 year-old Whovianist from Stevenage said: “It was just a little graphic along the bottom of the screen. I know it’s quite annoying but healthy people who are in control of their own lives do not use up valuable, never-to-be-repeated minutes to actually complain about something like that.
“They just don’t.”