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Film and Television Industry

Volume 723: debated on Thursday 1 December 2022

As set out in our broadcasting White Paper earlier this year and when I visited Pinewood and Shepperton studios last week, the Government are taking action to support British broadcasters and our world-leading film and television industries. That includes ensuring that public service content is easy to find on a wide range of TV platforms; delivering our £21 million UK global screen fund; and continuing to support our screen sector tax reliefs, which provide nearly £1 billion of support to more than 1,000 projects.

Given the sheer spunk of the contribution that my right hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Matt Hancock) has made to television, it would be churlish not to restore the Whip, wouldn’t it?

As my right hon. Friend knows, that is not a decision for me, but we can always depend on the right hon. Member for West Suffolk to attack a challenge with gusto, and I was not surprised at all to see him taking on all sorts of animal parts during the show. It has become a little bit of a thing for my predecessors to join that show, but I hope I can provide reassurance that I have no intention of ever doing so.

Of course, a very important part of our film and television industry is the music that goes with it and the composers who provide that music. At this juncture, it would be wrong of me to not recognise and send sympathy to the family of Christine McVie, one of Britain’s greatest ever songwriters, who sadly passed away yesterday. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

I was glad to hear what the Minister of State aid about AI earlier, because that will affect film and TV composers, as well as other people within the industry. Will she ensure that in undertaking the AI review, the Government listen very carefully to the views of songwriters and composers who work in the film and television industry during their consultation?

I echo the hon. Member’s sympathies. Of course, we will listen to all relevant voices, and I am happy for the hon. Member to meet with either myself or the Minister of State, who is responsible for this.