The BBC has warned Antiques Roadshow to be mindful of the ‘reputational risk’ of discussing colonial history, according to a document.
In a briefing, seen by the Times, calling for pitches from producers, the BBC said: ‘The high-profile nature of Antiques Roadshow means that it is often under a great deal of public scrutiny as to how it handles sensitive areas such as colonial history.
‘We are looking for experience in managing compliance issues and reputational risk.’
A BBC spokesperson told the Mail Online: ‘Where we have relevant details about items Antiques Roadshow experts have always explored their provenance, including the history of the British Empire.
‘This tender sets out our existing approach for potential bidders.’
The long-running series at the heart of the Sunday night schedule on BBC One has previously failed to acknowledge some artefacts that came to the UK because of the British Empire.
Fiona Bruce, 58, has presented the Sunday show since 2008
A professor of contemporary archaeology at Oxford University, Dan Hicks accused the show of ignoring Britain’s colonial history after it said a Mughal ring ‘found its way’ to a charity shop.
The Mughal Empire controlled South Asia in the 16th and 19th centuries and was the worlds largest economy at the time until there was an Anglo-Mughal war in 1686 to 1690.
The BBC mentioned these issues in a tender document as the show goes up for bidding for the first time in it’s 43-years on our screens.
The brief said the budget for Antiques Roadshow over the next two years is £5.1 million.
This would produce 36 regular episodes, from late summer 2023, with a budget of up to £127,000 each.
On the current show, each antique is presented with relevant social history and personal stories that reveal each item’s origin.
The Sunday staple has been running since 1979 and is now on its 44th series
Also in the document to present the show to third-party buyers was a section on ‘Diversity and inclusion in the production of the Programme (off-screen) to meet the BBC’s diversity requirements’, which is 20 percent diversity in production teams.
Fiona Bruce, 58, who has presented the show since 2008, was expected to continue as the show’s host, as the tender document confirmed there was a ‘commitment to the main series talent’.
However, the BBC also said it was ‘open to suggestions’ on refreshing its antiques experts so that the ‘team continues to evolve in a way that reflects the breadth and diversity of the BBC audience’.