David Mitchell: More straightforward working with Dave than traditional channels

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David Mitchell says it was “more straightforward” working with TV channel Dave on his new series than traditional broadcasters such as the BBC and Channel 4.

The actor, one half of comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, said the public service broadcasters had their creativity “hampered” by pressures from the Government and media.

The Government has been consulting on plans to privatise Channel 4, which could be sold off to a private buyer, while the BBC has faced scrutiny over how the licence fee system operates.

Peep Show star Mitchell’s forthcoming show on Dave, titled Outsiders, sets three pairs of comedians against each other in a series of outdoor challenges.

He said: “It feels like it’s more straightforward working with Dave than it is working with what used to be called the terrestrial broadcasters.

“Because I think that they have more freedom to make programmes and hope people like them.

“Whereas the pressures that the BBC and Channel 4 are under, the political pressures to be privatised in the one case, or not have the licence fee in the other, and there’s hugely more scrutiny of their overall output – and the news element, all that sort of thing.

“So, it hampers creativity, there’s no doubt. But Dave is in the fortunate position where it’s a popular comedy channel that people like.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Robert Webb signed up for Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)

“They’re not in the sort of scrutinous sights of the media and the government. So, I think that really helped.”

Mitchell, 47, also dismissed the idea he could sign up for Strictly Come Dancing after his comedy partner Robert Webb debuted during the series launch on Saturday.

Asked whether he would go on the BBC One show, he said: “No. I was going to say, ‘I don’t think so’ but I think I can say no.

“Because what they have to do is spend hours and hours, every day after day after day practicing dancing, and I have deliberately chosen a different job.”

Outsiders starts on Dave on Wednesday September 29.

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