Statements of Programme Policy 2010/2011

Director-General's statement

In March 2010, the BBC published its strategy review Putting Quality First, in response to key challenges set by the BBC Trust. Under this strategy we have set five clear content priorities and will focus on providing audiences with: the best journalism in the world; inspiring knowledge, culture and music; ambitious UK drama and comedy; outstanding children's content; and events that bring communities and the nation together.

This year's Statements of Programme Policy (SoPPs) are the first steps on the road to delivering this new strategic ambition, which will lead to an additional £600million a year towards higher quality content by 2013/2014. These SoPPs set out the BBC's editorial priorities for each of our services and also include the BBC's commitments and conditions set out in service licences and by Ofcom.

2010 will see the election of a new Parliament in Westminster and our journalism across television, radio and online will seek to explain the issues and reflect the campaign from the point of view of voters throughout the UK. We will also continue to provide a wide range of business coverage to give our audiences greater insight and advice as the British economy continues to face the aftermath of the financial crisis.

This year we will look to engage mainstream audiences with serious factual content and new approaches in natural history, with programmes such as BBC One's Lost Land series. Modern Masters is a BBC One arts offering presented by a new arts specialist, who will bring a fresh approach to the subject matter. BBC Four will continue to grow the impact of arts and culture with The Secret Life of Opera, and on Radio 2 arts programming will be strengthened, including a series on the histories of both musicals and cabaret in Musical Theatre.

World Of Wonder is the BBC's Year Of Science in 2010/2011. On television BBC One will refresh Child Of Our Time, while on BBC Two The Story Of Science will reveal how scientific method shaped the modern world. Radio 4 will contribute with a range of programmes fostering public engagement with science, including So You Want To Be A Scientist? And Saving Species, by the Natural History Unit, will be a 40-part landmark biodiversity series in the UN Year of Biodiversity.

In drama, BBC Two will seek to deliver a greater range and more hours of original drama, with more impact on audiences, as well as being the new home of BBC Films. New commissions include a short season of dramas inspired by the Eighties, including Abi Morgan's Royal Wedding. BBC Three will build on the success of Being Human by experimenting with four new drama pilots featuring vibrant young casts.

BBC One will look to revitalise mainstream family comedy by funding a series of pilots and experimenting with innovative formats beyond the classic situation comedy, such as Mrs Brown and a new comedy drama Pink Ladies. BBC Three will continue its role in finding up-and-coming comedians in Funny Fifteen Seconds. Bringing the nation together will see BBC One leading the multi-platform coverage of the World Cup in South Africa.

Our commitment to outstanding children's content remains as strong as ever. Music will sit at the heart of pre-school programming on CBeebies with ZingZillas, stimulating children's creativity and inspiring their imagination. In addition to the return of CBBC's most popular shows such as Tracy Beaker, there will be new dramas including Sadie Jones, Just William and Me And My Monsters.

Radio 2 will seek to consolidate Chris Evans's role at breakfast, alongside Simon Mayo in the drivetime programme. Radio 3 will challenge some traditional perceptions of classical music with high-profile opportunities for participation in music-making, bringing people together. In Local Radio we will maintain or improve reach by focusing effort and resources on breakfast and mid-morning programmes, subject to BBC Trust consideration under the strategy review.

The BBC performed well last year, maintaining overall reach in television and radio and with growth in online. I believe that the editorial priorities and related activities set out for 2010/2011 in these SoPPs will make this another exciting year for the BBC and its audiences.

Mark Thompson