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Comic Relief showrunner urges crew to ‘make a fuss’ about misconduct

Sir Lenny Henry founded Comic Relief with Richard Curtis (Picture: Richard Davenport/Comic Relief)

The Comic Relief showrunner has urged crew on the Red Nose Day charity telethon to ‘make a fuss’ about misconduct as BBC Studios aims to pre-empt any inappropriate behaviour on its shows.

On Thursday morning, Peter Davey delivered what has become known as ‘the pledge’, which has been read out at the beginning of each production following its introduction last August with the goal of encouraging respectful and inclusive behavior, as well as reporting any wrongdoing.

In a leaked audio published by Deadline, Davey said: ‘We’ve got a very important message to set the tone and the values of the production. It’s a pledge from us the senior team to make sure everyone is properly looked after.’

There is no suggestion of any concerns regarding the telethon in aid of Red Nose Day, but it’s said people felt reassured by the pledge.

Reading the pledge in full, Davey began: ‘We want BBC Studios to be a safe place for every person that works here. At all times, we expect everyone, whoever they are, to behave in a respectful and inclusive way.

‘Every individual should be treated equally regardless of their age, disability, sexuality, gender, race, religion or belief, marital or employment status. At the BBC, we expect everyone to read and adhere to our code of conduct.’

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He noted that senior producers want to curate a culture of ‘inclusion and respect’, while colleagues raising any concerns will be ‘fully supported’ with issues ‘followed up in a timely and satisfactory manner’.

He continued: ‘I don’t want anyone feeling they can’t do it because they don’t want to make a fuss. Please make a fuss. We will act on things if we hear things but we can’t act on things unless we know. So please just let us know.’

Sir Tony Robinson will be back as Baldrick for a Blackadder sketch on tonight’s show (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

When it comes to Comic Relief, which was co-created by Sir Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis, he said it was important for people in the production office to hear the message as they’re at ‘pointy end of all the stress’.

Meanwhile, BBC Studios added to the outlet: ‘It’s great that Peter shared his commitment to the pledge with the production team working on Comic Relief 2023.’

They also noted their pride at making the pledge prevalent across the broadcaster’s ‘entire production business’.

They said: ‘The pledge is in place to make clear our expectations around behaviour and culture. We’re proud to have initiated it across our entire production business and the feedback on its use has been extremely positive.’

Comic Relief airs on BBC One tonight (March 17) from 7pm.

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