Shadowmancer author: BBC banned me because I'm Christian
A best-selling children's author has accused the BBC of barring him from its programmes because he is a Christian.
The Rev G P Taylor, who has sold millions of books worldwide, claims that a producer at the corporation told him they couldn't be "seen to be promoting Jesus".
The author of Shadowmancer, which spent 15 weeks at the top of the British book sales charts in 2003, says that he has been the victim of political correctness that favours minority religions at the expense of Christianity, a claim the BBC denies.
He says that once his present series of books is complete, he will write under another name and employ an actor to do any public appearances, in an attempt to stop his work being "discriminated" against. Taylor, who gave up life as a parish priest after signing a £3.5 million publishing deal with Faber in 2004, believes the BBC began to shun him after he was described as the new C S Lewis – the Christian author who wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. "I had good relations with them until they realised that there were religious allegories in my stories," he said.
"Once they had decided that I was promoting Christianity in my books I found the door firmly shut."
After the success of his first novel, Shadowmancer, which is being made into a film, he was initially asked to appear on a number of BBC programmes. However, he alleges that further attempts to publicise his work were rejected following an interview with a researcher in which he talked about his faith.
"They weren't turning me down because I was a bad guest, but because of who I am.
"I'm an Anglican priest and sadly while it's OK to be the next Philip Pullman, it's not all right to be a Christian writer."
His second novel, Wormwood, sold 22,000 copies on one day, yet he says that the makers of Blue Peter told him that he was not welcome. "A BBC producer told me 'off the record' that it was a matter of my faith and the fact that I was an Anglican priest. 'We can't be seen to be promoting Jesus', he said with a laugh."
Internal correspondence between BBC staff, obtained by the author under the Freedom of Information Act, shows unease about the writer, although the documents question his character rather than his faith.
One email was sent by Christine Morgan, BBC radio's executive producer of religion. She wrote: "He does an impressive job of publicising his work but he is not universally admired... He has a very high opinion of his own books and in recent press releases there were constant references to him being the writer to take on J K Rowling's mantle. There's something quite revealing about their tone."
A BBC spokesman said: "Programme makers make their own editorial decisions about which guests to have on their shows. There is no truth in the claim that there is a BBC ban on G P Taylor."
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