The BBC’s new political drama Roadkill was today slammed for its ‘left-wing bias’ as calls grew for a new chairman who will stop the broadcaster ‘disappearing in a puff of woke smoke’.
The drama sees Hugh Laurie playing corrupt Tory government minister Peter Laurence, who in the first episode is seen lying in court during a libel trial, sleeping with his mistress and burying evidence of a love child.
Concerns over left-wing bias at the BBC have seen Prime Minister Boris Johnson push for a right-wing figure to fill the role of chairman.
Laurence Fox said the drama, which is written by Hampstead playwright David Hare, showed this move was ‘desperately needed’.
Roadkill sees Hugh Laurie playing corrupt Tory government minister Peter Laurence
It was criticised by viewers including This Morning presenter India Willoughby, who called it a ‘Poundland House of Cards’
He told MailOnline: ‘I never watch the BBC and it’s certainly not my job to defend the Tory Party but I don’t watch it because so much content is a lecture from a series of stereotypes. A morality play.
‘A new chairman is desperately needed before the BBC disappears in a puff of Woke Smoke.’
Mr Johnson had previously lined up former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore to become BBC chairman, but he decided not to enter the race due to ‘personal reasons’.
The Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, who was reacting to criticism of Roadkill, said: ‘It’s a great shame Charles Moore didn’t want it [the role of chairman]. He probably thinks it’s gone too far.
‘But they have to do something to rescue the BBC from itself or no one’s going to watch it.
‘This show is just another BBC anti-Conservative trope. If they did the same for a left-wing character it would probably be classed as a hate crime.’
The Prime Minister’s support for Lord Moore sparked controversy, with former Question Time host David Dimbleby saying he was ‘horrified’ at the idea of him taking the role.
Speaking today, Rebecca Ryan, Campaign Director of pressure group Defund the BBC said : ‘David Dimbleby may well be “horrified” at the idea of the next Chairman of the BBC being a right-leaning figure, but it looks like some balance is urgently necessary.
‘When the BBC is losing 550 licence fee payers a day, perhaps they should ask themselves whether a drama series that paints the party that was overwhelmingly backed by the British people less than a year ago as backstabbing, scandal-ridden schemers is part of their problem.’
Laurence Fox said the drama, which is written by Hampstead playwright David Hare, showed reform of the BBC was ‘desperately needed’.
The programme received praised from several newspaper reviewers and viewers on Twitter. But others slated it for being politically biased
The first episode of Roadkill aired last night with a stellar cast including – alongside Hugh Laurie – Helen McCrory, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Sarah Greene and Pip Torrens.
The Tory minister Peter Laurence is portrayed as a charismatic, ruthless and self-centred politician who repeatedly lies in a bid to maintain his hold on power.
In one scene, he visits a women’s prison to negotiate with a potential blackmailer. When he hears later that riots have broken out at the jail, he mutters: ‘Let’s hope there are injuries. Better still, fatalities.’
The programme’s creator, David Hare, has openly admitted the programme is an examination into the ‘appeal of Conservative values’.
He said in a press release: ‘In Roadkill, I wanted to ask what happens when you put ideals of freedom and personal responsibility above all other virtues.
‘I was also interested in the effect of believing that every one of us is alone responsible for the destiny and progress of our own lives.’
The programme received praised from several newspaper reviewers and viewers on Twitter. But others slated it for being politically biased.
The first episode of Roadkill aired last night with a stellar cast including Helen McCrory, (pictured) Pippa Bennett-Warner, Sarah Greene and Pip Torrens
This Morning presenter India Willoughby said: ‘Why is half the country paying for a channel that clearly despises them?
‘The BBC are not big on diversity. It’s a myth. In fact they are anti-diversity. They only work with people who share the same world view.’
Talk Radio presenter Kevin O’Sullivan wrote: ‘Roadkill: a thrilling new BBC drama about an evil Tory minister who wants to privatise the NHS.
‘Good to see the state broadcaster ploughing an unexpected furrow and escaping from the shackles of its left wing prejudices…’
And a third viewer, Oliver Bayley, wrote: ‘The BBC continues to construct its own coffin. This time with the help of David Hare’s babyish tribalism and intellectual arrested development. Makes a Ladybird book look nuanced.’
MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.