Beeb spent £20,000 on lighting the set for TV drama Wolf Hall

Damian Lewis plays Henry VIII in the new BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booke Prize-winning Wolf Hall
Damian Lewis plays Henry VIII in the new BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booke Prize-winning Wolf Hall
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Executive pay at the BBC has been the subject of much debate for the past few years.

However it has now been revealed that the broadcaster has burned through five figures worth of cash for its lighting bill for its hit period drama Wolf Hall, spending £20,000 on candles.

Director Peter Kosminsky, a former Yorkshire Television documentary maker, said hi-tech cameras meant he could do away with traditional studio lights while filming the BBC2 drama.

He told the Royal Television Society magazine Television: “With the Arri Alexa camera, for the first time on television it has become possible to shoot exclusively by candlelight.

“Some scenes were shot with just one candle.”

The lack of lighting has not impressed every viewer with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell tweeting: “Not entirely persuaded by the lighting strategy.”

The series, based on Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels, stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII.

Kosminsky also revealed he talked corporation bosses out of plans to show the highbrow drama on BBC1 because he was worried it would not get a big enough audience.

He told the magazine: “I am glad it is on BBC2. When we first started submitting the rushes there was a discussion, at a fairly high level within the BBC, about whether the show should move to BBC1.”