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Why folks Down Under are fed up with Fry: The TV presenter's show QI is on so frequently there are fears he is killing off local talentFormer senator tells Australian inquiry she wondered how viewers knew they were Down UnderHis quiz show has appeared on Australian Broadcasting Corporation so often, there are fears local talent is being killed off
01:34 GMT, 4 February 2013
08:05 GMT, 4 February 2013
Too much Stephen Fry's quiz show QI appeared on national channel the Australian Broadcasting Corporation so frequently there are fears he is killing off local talent
If you think there’s too much Stephen Fry on British TV, spare a thought for Australians.
His quiz show QI has appeared on national channel the Australian Broadcasting Corporation so frequently there are fears he is killing off local talent.
Former senator Margaret Reynolds told an Australian parliamentary inquiry into ABC’s content that Fry was on the channel in Tasmania so often she wondered how viewers would know they were actually in Australia.
Hundreds of members of the Friends of the ABC, a public lobby group, in Tasmania share her concerns.
‘I am concerned that my future ABC viewing will contain more bought-in programmes from the BBC and Thames Television starring Stephen Fry and Graham Norton,’ Miss Reynolds said.
‘And if I miss them I can always catch them again on ABC2. I can feel myself glazing over at the thought.’
Fry did have supporters, however. Online writer Brian Howis said: ‘Too much Fry! No such thing is possible.’
The controversy comes after Fry appeared in 189 TV shows, including many QI repeats, in Britain in two weeks over Christmas.
The government-funded ABC’s links with the BBC mean that the Australian network can pick and choose how much of Mr Fry it gives to its viewers – and while that has been limited to QI he has also given radio interviews to the network and even brought his show Down Under to the Sydney Opera House under the auspices of the ABC.
All of which has perturbed Miss Reynolds and the hundreds of members of the Friends of the ABC.
Pointing out that the ABC had become more dry and boring with the drift toward cheaper programming and away from in-house quality drama, she said the innovative and entertaining shows of the past belong to a bygone era.
Miss Reynold’s complaint was powerful enough to result in the Sydney Morning Herald running the headline: ‘Less Fry, More Tassie (Tasmania), ABC Senate Inquiry Hears’.
Fry appeared in 189 TV shows, including many QI repeats, in Britain in two weeks over Christmas