Playwright, who was gravely ill with the virus, says it’s ‘nonsense’ that viewers don’t want a pandemic drama

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A TV drama written and directed by Sir David Hare, produced by Sir Nicholas Hytner and starring Ralph Fiennes would be expected to excite any broadcaster. But the award-winning playwright has accused the BBC of rejecting it under the mistaken assumption that the public has no appetite for its subject: the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hare said: “The basic difficulty is that everybody is absolutely convinced that nobody wants to know anything about Covid-19. If you talk to, for instance, people at the BBC, they will just say: ‘Oh, give me drama on any other subject but Covid – people are not interested in Covid.’ There is absolutely no evidence for this.”

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