The director-general, Tony Hall, is about to announce a 20 percent funding increase for arts on television, notably on BBC1 and BBC2
‘Arts programming sits right at the heart of the BBC and is a vital part of who we are. But I want us to be much more ambitious. We need to showcase more of the incredible talent that this country has to offer to the widest possible audiences. It is our privilege and our responsibility to do this,’ he says.
It’s what you’d expect to hear from a recent chief executive of the Royal Opera House, though not, perhaps, quite so early in his tenure or when he has got so many other fires to fight. This is clearly a landmark statement about the future of the BBC. You can read the press announcement here.
Where the money will be found is not specified. And there will be only a qualified welcome for the BBC’s renewed support for the Arts Council’s failed venture, The Space. Nevertheless, this is a landmark moment for the arts in Britain.