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Fry claims fear culture is making BBC bland

The BBC has been hit by a culture of "fear" which results in "incredibly bland" programmes, Stephen Fry said today.

The host of BBC1 comedy show QI said BBC executives with "cold feet" were shying away from taking risks -- and warned it spelt death for a creative institution.

The BBC was hit by rows over decency following the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand scandal, and criticisms of the salaries of its top stars and executives.

Fry (53) said of BBC culture: "I do know of so many cases where executives would say 'What we want is something new, something different, something extraordinary!'

"And they're brought something new, different and extraordinary and immediately the executive gets cold feet, falls back on something else and we end up with something incredibly bland.

"A lot of the adventure and excitement have gone out of television programming -- and a lot of it is just down to fear."