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Death by quota

Features | December 2017


Michael Cole contacted a TV company about a Raine Spencer film he appeared in. He was then asked about his personal life, to promote diversity. The equality obsession, he says, is killing quality television

I appeared in a Channel 4 programme recently. It was called Princess Diana’s ‘Wicked’ Stepmother and purported to be a portrait of Raine, Countess Spencer, who died, aged 87, last autumn. The programme, produced by a company called Firecrest Films, wasn’t a celebration of Raine’s remarkable life, but rather an attempt to catch the Diana tsunami created by the twentieth anniversary of her death. In that, it succeeded. It attracted Channel 4’s biggest audience of the year, to that date. Some parts I liked; some I didn’t. I made my views known to Firecrest. I expected to hear no more. I was wrong. I’ve just received an email from an entity called Silvermouse, which had been given my contact details by Firecrest.  Silvermouse invited me to take part in a survey it is conducting for Diamond Diversity – a branch of the Creative Diversity Network, or CDN. The survey would...

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