"Why write drama that doesn't matter?" he asked this weekend. Commenting on the high viewing figures for costume dramas such as ITV's Downton Abbey and the popularity of arch adventure shows such as Dr Who, McGovern said he believed the best writing took itself seriously, as well as taking its audience seriously.
"The only way to tell stories on TV is to convince people that what they are seeing is actually happening now and is real. I just can't handle the tongue-in-cheek approach, the kind of thing you see on Dr Who. Though there are millions who can, I know."
The writer said that while he had enjoyed the original series of Upstairs Downstairs that ran in the early 1970s, he felt the BBC's decision to bring it back this year could only be justified if the story is played straight, avoiding the clichés of costume sagas. "I am not watching Downton Abbey, but it is true you can tell any story and make it relevant. You just have to avoid pastiche. If I were in charge of Upstairs Downstairs I would do it for real," he said."
"Jimmy McGovern in The Observer. Says there is no point writing drama that isn't deadly serious, contemporary and relevant.
He goes on to attack Dr Who and Downton Abbey - it would seem on the basis that neither show reflects real life in any actual sense.
Once again a grumpy writer uses a publicity platform for his own show to piss on his brothers and sisters in the business.
Jimmy accusing Dr Who of irrelevance. Perhaps the Doctor should rape all his companions and turn the TARDIS into a crack den.
Jimmy - some dramas are about northern people raping their sisters because of the legacy of Thatcher's government.
Some dramas are about eccentric time travellers whisking their accomplices off on magical adventures.
Some dramas gently and delightfully explore the social morés of the classes in early 20th century England.
Some dramas brilliantly and compellingly examine the inter-connecting lives of residents in a single street.
Jimmy - you are a compelling, humane, acerbic and brilliantly relevant writer. One of our very very best.
But when you grumble about good shows that entertain millions and appear to ask for the spectrum to be reduced you sound like the enemy of creativity. Worry about your own work and keep your nose out of other people's.
Escapism sits beside social commentary on my bookshelf. George Orwell happily rests next to Stephen King.
Jimmy is a genius but that article was like George Orwell telling Roald Dahl to grow up and write something meaningful.
I just keep wondering why Jimmy always needs to manufacture a crusade when his work speaks so well for him?
I have met him several times - he's a sweet, funny, quite humble chap. But he can't promote his work it seems without getting angry."