It’s an open secret that if you’re an independent producer and you go to see the BBC or C4 with an idea there’s as much chance of you making that idea as somebody else.
It’s a lunch cartel. You go in and pitch an idea to someone, then they go out for lunch with some mate and say, ‘You know what. This guy came in with this rather good idea, what do you think about it?’ and their mate will say ‘Yeah, that’s good,’ and they’ll go away and add a couple of bells and whistles.
Charlie Parsons, Co-Founder Planet 24, The Guardian, 14 May 2001