BBC stops all content licensing in Russia including David Attenborough's 'Green Planet'

Sir David Attenborough (Credit: BBC)
The BBC has requested that the remaining episodes of David Attenborough's The Green Planet do not air in Russia. (BBC)

The BBC has announced it will no longer license TV content to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

This includes a request not to air the remaining episodes of Sir David Attenborough's new documentary series The Green Planet and the Russian version of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing With The Stars, even though the rights have already been sold.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “The BBC’s executive team were meeting today and they have decided to stop all content licensing to Russian customers.”

Read more: Why Paddington's Hugh Bonneville has hailed Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy

UK broadcaster ITV has also announced it will not be working with Russian clients following the attack on Ukraine by Russian forces.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 19, 2020: Jury members, choreographer Yegor Druzhinin, TV presenter Darya Zlatopolskaya, choreographer Igor Rudnik, and Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy Rector Nikolai Tsiskaridze (L-R) during the shooting of the third episode of the Dancing with the Stars dance competition TV show for the Rossiya 1 TV Channel. Press Office of the Rossiya TV Channel/TASS (Photo by Press Office of the Rossiya TV C\TASS via Getty Images)
Russia's Dancing with the Stars is licensed by the BBC. (TASS via Getty Images)

A spokesperson said: “We have made the decision to stop new sales to Russian clients as we do not believe it appropriate to be doing business with them at this time.”

Pact — the UK's largest trade association for independent producers — has also called upon its members to stop all work with Russia.

Its members include World Productions, creators of Line of Duty and Vigil, and Sherlock producers Hartswood Films.

A spokesperson said: “Pact calls for a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and for a resolution of conflict by diplomatic means respecting the rule of law and the rights of the Ukrainian people.

The Batman is coming to cinemas in 2022 (Warner Bros.)
The Batman has been pulled from release in Russian cinemas. (Warner Bros.)

“Whilst Pact sympathises with Russian creatives who do not have the same freedoms and safeguards that we enjoy in the United Kingdom, Pact has removed all Russian production and business information from its website and calls on members to suspend all co-operation and trade with Russia for the time being.”

Several Hollywood studios — including Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and The Walt Disney Company — have pulled the release of their latest films in Russia due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

These include new superhero blockbuster The Batman starring Robert Pattinson.

Read more: Lady Gaga and stars show support for Ukraine at SAG Awards

And the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced that Russia is banned from the competition.

Watch: David Attenborough get spiked by a cactus on The Green Planet