BBC tells Antiques Roadshow hosts to be aware of 'reputational risk' when discussing 'colonial history'

The BBC move comes after the show was accused of ignoring Britain’s colonial history amid comments made about a £2,000 Mughal ring

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The BBC has told Antiques Roadshow hosts to be aware of the "reputational risk" when discussing "colonial history" on the show.

The show has also been urged by the state broadcaster to ensure that all new producers are able to handle “sensitive” topics.

BBC bosses added that they were on the search for producers who have "experience in managing compliance issues".

The reported briefing said: “The high-profile nature of Antiques Roadshow means that it is often under a great deal of public scrutiny as to how it handles sensitive areas such as colonial history.

Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce
Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce
BBC Broadcasting House in London
BBC Broadcasting House in London

“We are looking for experience in managing compliance issues and reputational risk.”

Responding to the initial report in The Times, a BBC spokesperson said: “Where we have relevant details about items Antiques Roadshow experts have always explored their provenance, including the history of the British Empire.

“This tender sets out our existing approach for potential bidders."

It comes after the show was criticised last year after comments made by jewellery historian, John Benjamin, about a £2,000 Mughal ring.

Mr Benjamin said the ring had “somehow found its way from somewhere near the Taj Mahal over to a charity shop here 200 years later”.

Following his comments, archaeology professor at Oxford University Dan Hicks accused the show of ignoring Britain’s colonial history.