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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > August 15 > Bye-bye, bi TV

Bye-bye, bi TV

WHY ARE BI WOMEN SO POORLY REPRESENTED IN BRITISH TV? JACQUIE LAWRENCE GOES BEHIND THE SCENES TO FIND OUT

Once upon a time Channel 4 had a specific budget and space in the schedule for LGBT programming such as Dyke TV, Queer Street, Coming Out Night and Out. Hard to believe now, perhaps. I was awarded the enviable moniker of Filth Pedlar Of Channel 4 by the Daily Mail for my perceived contributions to the cause. For five years I commissioned hundreds of hours of lesbian and gay programming and, to my shame, only one hour of these was dedicated purely to bisexuality. To add to this mea culpa, it was a programme entitled Greed as one part of a series that reclaimed the Seven Deadly Sins. To be fair to the then-pedlar of filth, it was a polemical series and the bisexual protagonists did a great job of persuading over a million viewers then that bisexuality was a legitimate sexual preference and lifestyle.

Great drama let down by its bi representation: “former lesbian” Piper (right) and girlfriend Alex in Orange Is The New Black
PHOTOS JOJO WHILDEN/NETFLIX, BBC/NICKY JOHNSTON, SHOWTIME

The last C4 project I commissioned was Rikki Beadle-Blair’s drama series, Metrosexuality, which featured a cast covering a full range of sexual choices – in all their complexity and glory – including bisexuality. This was, however, a rare flash of positive representation and so, just over 15 years later, I wondered if bisexuality was faring any better in television drama. And, as an Americanist, I thought it both a challenge and pertinent to consider bisexual representation on both sides of the Atlantic.

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About DIVA Magazine

Singer-songwriter and Same Love vocalist Mary Lambert talks self-love, body positivity and mental health with DIVA this month. We also snagged an exclusive photo-shoot with her and you lucky digital readers can watch the behind the scenes film we made of it. Elsewhere in the issue is ANOTHER behind the scenes video of a very different photo-shoot. This one was a first for DIVA: dogs in designer-wear. It's our favourite fashion shoot to date and the photos and video must be seen to be believed! Also inside: Bisexuals on TV Changing attitudes to body hair Photo coverage of Pride in London and Black Pride DIVA editor Jane Czyzelska asks: What's really going on when the mainstream media deride minorities? O'Hooley & Tidow Trans 101 Hollywood stuntwoman Tiger Rudge Eco Ibiza What is Raw Fest? Charlotte Cooper South african photographer Zanele Muholi The brains behind Lily's Kitchen Lisa Gornick What happens to a lesbian friendship, when one transitions to live as a man? The Raising The Skirt art project Ladies of Llangollen Avignon Jay Bernard And the best in books, film, music, wellbeing, travel and TV
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