BBC's new 'distinctive' remit is odd, says New Blood writer Anthony Horowitz


Author Anthony Horowitz has defended the BBC over Government criticism about a lack of distinctiveness.

The writer behind ITV's Foyle's War hit out at Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's new mission statement for the BBC that it needed to focus more on "distinctive content" than competing with commercial rivals.

Anthony Horowitz called criticism about the BBC's distinctiveness
Anthony Horowitz called criticism about the BBC's distinctiveness "odd" (Ian West/PA)

Speaking ahead of his new BBC series New Blood, he told Digital Spy: "It was such an odd thing to say.

"I think the BBC is incredibly distinctive at the moment and one of the things that makes me a little nervous is the extraordinarily high quality of the shows that I'm following."

Singling out dramas including The Night Manager, Happy Valley and War And Peace, he said: "Every single drama I'm seeing coming out of the BBC, I'm seeing an absolute distinctiveness and an excellence."

Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli star in New Blood (Des Willie/Eleventh Hour Films Ltd/BBC)
He has written new BBC drama New Blood starring Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli (Des Willie/Eleventh Hour Films Ltd/BBC)

Crime show New Blood features Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli as junior investigators for the Serious Fraud Office and the police who are brought together on two seemingly unrelated cases.

It is the first BBC prime time drama series to premiere exclusively on iPlayer ahead of its transmission on BBC One in order to appeal to the "binge watching generation".

It premieres on iPlayer from June 2 and on BBC One at 9pm on June 9.