United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Colombo District candidate Udaya Gammanpilla says the UPFA has lost the 2015 Parliamentary election.While the official results of most districts are yet to be released, Gammanpilla said in his official Facebook account that the UPFA is expected to end with victory in only 9 electoral districts against the UNP’s 11 and TNA’s 3. While thanking the public for their support, Gammanpilla said that the struggle to protect the country will continue despite the electoral defeat. (Colombo Gazette) “Although no party has secured the majority in the parliament the UNP will form a minority government. I have secured approximately 200,000 preferential votes to rank second in Colombo District,” he added.
The number of peak-time repeats on the BBC’s flagship channel has risen by 65 per cent in the past year, as financial pressure forces the corporation to recycle old shows.Mrs Brown’s Boys and episodes of Fake or Fortune were among the programmes being peddled to audiences for the second time.Viewers who tuned in to BBC One between 6pm and 10.30pm may also have experienced a sense of deja vu when watching Pointless Celebrities on Saturday nights or Would I Lie To You mid-week.The number of repeats in the channel’s most watched timeslots rose from 4 per cent in 2016/17 to 6.6 per cent in 2017/18, a decade after the BBC’s then chairman, Sir Michael Grade, pledged to make BBC One a repeat-free zone within 10 years.The corporation has been criticised by Ofcom for showing too many repeats during the day, but the watchdog is also likely to have concerns about peaktime re-runs, which filled more than 100 hours of viewing last year.The figure is at a four-year high despite repeats being one of the biggest sources of complaints from licence fee payers.The trend has continued this summer, with re-runs of Mrs Brown’s Boys Pointless Celebrities and Inspector Gently on some Saturday nights in the past month leaving only one show, the quiz Who Dares Wins, as new peak-time programming. Mrs Brown’s BoysCredit:BBC BBC Two continues to give over more than a quarter of its peak-time schedule to repeats, up to 26.7 per cent last year.The corporation said the BBC One figure was high last year because there was no major sporting event to fill the evening schedules, such as the Olympics or a World Cup.But it has also conceded that it is facing a financial squeeze at a time when its rivals, including Netflix and Amazon, have huge budgets to spend on original programming.Sir David Clementi, BBC chairman, warned this week that “the market around us is increasingly dominated by a very small number of very large, global players with extraordinary creative and financial firepower. As the BBC, we need to think very carefully about how we respond to all these pressures.”The BBC made savings of £160 million last year, and from 2020 must shoulder the cost of free television licences for the over-75s, which was previously met by the government.Its other key challenge is declining audiences, as younger viewers turn away from BBC television.According to the annual report, 40 per cent of people aged 16-34 no longer watch the BBC, up from 35 per cent in 2016/17.Among those aged 55 and over, 93 per cent remain BBC viewers. But the corporation can take heart from the success of iPlayer, which had a record 272 million programmes streamed each month during the last financial year.The most popular programme on iPlayer was Blue Planet II, with 4.8 million requests for the first episode. ENDSA BBC spokesman said: “More than 93 per cent of BBC One’s peak-time schedule last year was new programmes, and while the level of repeats is low it’s always slightly higher in a year when there aren’t major sporting events like a World Cup or the Olympics.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.