The media is serious business, in tone and content, whatever the platform. There are websites and periodicals that favour satire and humour but generally, the media is into the business of bringing serious issues into focus, and in a serious manner. All that is about to change, courtesy the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC),renowned for its news coverage but now in the process of opening a BBC theme park in the UK. The BBC’s image as an international public service broadcaster is now morphing, as an entertainment provider.
The theme park will celebrate some of its favourite shows, like Top Gear, Dr Who and Sherlock. Apart from Jeremy Clarkson and Benedict Cumberbatch themes, there will be venues based on sci-fi, a water park, theatre, music, and events spaces. We tend to look at the BBC as a news broadcaster but BBC Entertainment is huge and offers varied content too. Top Gear, Walking with Dinosaurs, Yes Minister, Fawlty Towers and Sherlock have been watched in India. This is the first time a global media corporation is branching out into the outdoor entertainment space. BBC’s corporate bosses may have been inspired by India, where Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee TV network, also owns India’s biggest theme park, EsselWorld. In fact, most media groups are looking to break out of traditional areas of print, TV and digital, to where the money is; sponsored events, schools, shopping sites, et al. But a theme park based on TV programmes is a new idea, perhaps one whose time has come.