The BBC’s “Delivering Quality First” cost-cutting measures hit another high-profile target today. Over a month after the news that the popular Doctor Who Confidential was being dropped from BBC Three, Bob Mortimer announced on his Twitter feed that the long-running surreal comedy quiz Shooting Stars also has been axed:
This is sad news, sixteen years after it first hit our screens, Shooting Stars has had ups and downs but continued to provide laugh-out-loud funny moments during it’s recent eighth series. However, the news perhaps did not come as a surprise and Shooting Stars is very unlikely to be the last panel show to have this fate, after one of the key points of the BBC management’s proposals for BBC Two was for it to “make fewer entertainment panel or chat shows”. A year or so from now, BBC Two will be a very different channel, with BBC World News taking up most of the daytime schedule, a lot more content from BBC Four in the evenings and a focus on drama and scripted comedy.
I’d personally prefer to see a different Vic and Bob series to Shooting Stars, which seemed to continue as a compromise – it gave a platform for Reeves and Mortimer’s particular brand of humour while the format provided more dependable audience figures for BBC Two than a sketch show might have. Either way, there’s certainly still a place for them on our screens. Time for Dave or Sky to step up to the plate?