BBC Statements of
Programme Policy
2005/2006

Purpose, vision
and values

OUR PURPOSE is to enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain

OUR VISION is to be the most creative organisation in the world

OUR VALUES
 Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest
 Audiences are at the heart of everything we do
 We take pride in delivering quality and value for money
 Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation
 We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best
 We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together

Contents

ABOUT THE BBC
2 The purpose of the BBC
3 Chairman’s statement
4 Director-General’s statement
6 The BBC at a glance
60 Other programming commitments
62 Further BBC commitments
64 Getting in touch with the BBC

TELEVISION
8 BBC One
14 BBC Two
18 BBC Three
20 BBC Four
22 CBeebies
23 The CBBC Channel

RADIO
24 BBC Radio 1
26 BBC Radio 2
30 BBC Radio 3
32 BBC Radio 4
34 BBC Radio Five Live
35 BBC Five Live Sports Extra
36 1Xtra
37 BBC 6 Music
38 BBC 7
39 BBC Asian Network

NEW MEDIA
40 bbc.co.uk
44 BBCi
45 The Digital Curriculum

NEWS
46 BBC News
48 BBC News 24
49 BBC Parliament

NATIONS & REGIONS
50 BBC Nations & Regions
52 BBC English Regions
54 BBC Scotland
56 BBC Cymru Wales
58 BBC Northern Ireland

The purpose of the BBC
Broadcasting plays a pivotal role in the social, cultural and political life of the UK and the BBC lies at the heart of this broadcasting system. Its purpose, largely unchanged in 80 years, is to enrich the life of every person in the UK with programmes that inform, educate and entertain.
The BBC is a unique institution. Owned by the British people and independent of political and commercial interests, it exists to serve everyone, regardless of age, income, sex, race or religion.
As such, the BBC is able to contribute to the quality of life in society as a whole. In order to do this successfully, it must also constantly and consistently offer value for people as individuals. It aims to touch people’s lives in ways that contribute fundamentally to their individual enjoyment, self-fulfilment and ability to participate in our society.
The BBC creates public value in five main ways:
 Democratic value: the BBC supports civic life and national debate by providing trusted and impartial news and information that helps citizens make sense of the world and encourages them to engage with it.
 Cultural and creative value: the BBC enriches the UK’s cultural life by bringing talent and audiences together to break new ground, to celebrate our cultural heritage, to broaden the national conversation.
 Educational value: by offering audiences of every age a world of formal and informal educational opportunity in every medium the BBC helps build a society strong in knowledge and skills.
 Social and community value: by enabling the UK’s many communities to see what they hold in common and how they differ, the BBC seeks to build social cohesion and tolerance through greater understanding.
 Global value: the BBC supports the UK’s global role by being the world’s most trusted provider of international news and information, and by showcasing the best of British culture to a global audience.
As the broadcast environment evolves – across television, radio and new and emerging media platforms – and as society changes, the BBC will continue to have a vital role to play.
These Statements of Programme Policy set out how the BBC intends to fulfil its purpose and deliver public value across the range of its services over the next 12 months.

Chairman’s statement
The Board of Governors is responsible for ensuring that the BBC operates in the interests of viewers and listeners. On their behalf we assess how effectively the BBC delivers its public purpose: to enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.
This is the fourth set of annual BBC Statements of Programme Policy. They detail how the BBC will deliver its public service remit over the year ahead.
As last year, each service outlines its priorities for the year ahead and the programme plans are explained in the context of the BBC’s five key public purposes: democratic value; cultural and creative value; educational value; social and community value; and global value. On the preceding page, we explain how the BBC delivers public value through meeting these purposes.
The BBC’s commitments in 2005/2006, particularly the priorities identified, reflect what licence fee payers have been telling us over the past year about what the BBC should be doing more of, or what it should be doing better. For example, BBC One promises more current affairs in peak time; BBC News identifies implementing the recommendations to improve its Europe coverage as a priority; Radio 3 promises a number of high-profile classical music events, including broadcasting the complete works of three featured composers; and bbc.co.uk will deliver more of what our audiences want – distinctive and original content, with an emphasis on delivering democratic and educational value.
Audiences have also been telling us that they want more original drama, more innovative comedy and fewer repeats, particularly in peak time. As the Director-General outlines in his statement over the page, a new programme strategy is under development to deliver this, together with efficiency savings to release more money into programme-making for the benefit of licence fee payers. While this is a long-term strategy, the BBC commits to begin delivering change now, evidenced by the Board’s approval of an overall increase of £61million in programme spend, bringing the total to £2,178million in 2005/2006.
All this change sits alongside the BBC’s undiminished commitment to key public service genres such as news, children’s output, religion and an unrivalled range of local, regional and national services from BBC Nations & Regions.
Over the next year, the Board of Governors will introduce a new framework to deliver improved transparency and much greater accountability to BBC licence fee payers. We plan to take an important step forward in the process of setting out clear commitments for the BBC with the introduction of ‘service licences’. As their name implies, these are licences that will be published, setting out the budget, remit and performance targets that the Board of Governors and licence fee payers will expect to be met for each service. They will not replace Statements of Programme Policy, but will provide more detailed and longer-term public commitments.
At the heart of the BBC is creativity. The BBC’s management team, led by the Director-General, is committed to delivering quality content on television, radio and online throughout 2005/2006. As the BBC’s Board of Governors, we are committed to monitoring the BBC’s performance against these statements on behalf of licence fee payers and will publish our assessment – informed by our dialogue with audiences – in the 2005/2006 Annual Report and Accounts in July 2006.
Michael Grade
BBC Chairman
MARCH 2005

 

Director-General’s statement

The BBC exists to create public value, serving its audiences not just as consumers but as members of a wider society, with programmes and services which inform, educate and entertain, but which also serve wider public purposes.
Over the next ten years, as the media industry moves into a period of unprecedented change, the BBC needs to be more committed than ever to a focus on excellence in everything it does, delivering more quality, more ambition and more depth than any other broadcaster. The BBC should deliver the best journalism in the world; great comedy and drama; music and music-making across all media; programmes that build knowledge; safe and original high-quality services for children; sport and national events; and the best local and regional services.
As an organisation we have an ongoing commitment to growing our understanding of audiences’ needs and priorities, which is helping us to shape our content and output. We will also develop even more effective ways of signposting our output in an increasingly complex media landscape, enabling audiences to navigate their way to content of interest and benefit to them.
These Statements of Programme Policy demonstrate our commitment to serving these audiences’ needs and delivering excellence across all our services over the coming year. We will offer a range of television, radio and new media services, each underpinning the BBC’s unique public service remit, delivering public value to all our licence fee payers.
First, we will invest an additional £21million overall in BBC Television. This money will be spent on enriching the summer schedule, increasing the amount of drama and beginning to reduce repeats in peak time. BBC One highlights include a multi-part adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House and a groundbreaking new David Attenborough series, Life in the Undergrowth, as well as the return of successful titles like Waking the Dead, Cutting It and Worst Week of My Life. BBC Two will continue to strengthen its creative innovation in comedy, documentary and contemporary factual programmes, as well as building on its presence in drama. Highlights of the year will include distinctive, thought-provoking series such as Peter Ackroyd’s Romantics and How Art Made the World, along with innovative drama like Rome and To the Ends of the Earth.
The BBC’s digital television channels go from strength to strength. BBC Three remains committed to creative innovation, the development of new talent and risk-taking, particularly in comedy and drama. This year BBC Three will build on its growing reputation for groundbreaking comedy. The award-winning successes Nighty Night, The Smoking Room and Little Britain will all return, but will be joined by new titles, including Funland, a new ten-part comedy drama set in the North West.
BBC Four will receive an additional £2million investment and we hope to use this to help make the channel more accessible in tone. Major new productions will include Islamic History of Europe – an examination of the role of Islam in the development of European culture across art, science and literature – and Shakespeare’s Happy Endings. BBC Four will also continue to develop its close relationship with BBC Two through the ‘Four on Two’ zone, giving people the opportunity to experience programmes shown on the BBC’s digital channels.
News coverage on the BBC aims to stand out for the quality of its original reporting and analysis. In 2005/2006 we will invest an extra £11million in BBC News for coverage of the expected General Election, and increase the hours of current affairs broadcast in peak time on BBC One, working towards our public commitment to offer 48.5 hours in peak in 2006/2007, including at least four Panorama specials. In an election year BBC News 24 will be the BBC’s primary election channel, providing campaign highlights, press conferences, speeches, rallies and key interviews. BBC News 24’s evolving relationship with bbc.co.uk/news will ensure that we offer viewers speedy access to the best information, encouraging the national debate and helping people make sense of their world.
The radio Statements demonstrate our continuing commitment to new music, live performance and nurturing UK talent. 2005/2006 will see Radio 1 extending the range and diversity of its live events, and Radio 2 working closely with the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters in support of the 50th anniversary of the Ivor Novello Awards. Radio 3 will provide a focus for engagement with classical music by celebrating the achievements of three composers, dedicating substantial airtime to broadcasting their complete works over a short period.
On our digital networks, 1Xtra is increasing its commitment to new music and 6 Music will continue to champion music and artists that receive limited airplay elsewhere.
On our speech networks, Radio 4 will generate considerable impact with special events, including two major series marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and a 90-part series telling the story of the British Empire. In its coverage of the expected General Election, Five Live will seek, through collaboration with BBC Asian Network and 1Xtra, to reach audiences not engaged in the electoral process. BBC Asian Network will also be seeking to raise the range, depth and quality of its speech output. BBC Radio continues to support writers and performers across its portfolio, with BBC 7 encouraging new drama and comedy talent in partnership with BBC writersroom and BBC Talent.
As digital take-up grows we will continue our commitment to delivering the BBC’s purposes through new media. The bbc.co.uk Statement reflects its new remit, set out in the Governors’ response to Philip Graf’s independent review of our online service. Specific commitments for 2005/2006 include a trial of the Interactive Media Player (iMP), improving service quality and impact through user tools such as BBC Search, and the implementation of an external production quota.
On BBCi we will continue to enhance the BBC’s television proposition, increasing investment in children’s content, including the launch of CBBC Extra, a comprehensive interactive offering. We will also experiment with a number of innovative user-generated content offerings such as Your Stories, which brings together digital storytelling and video nation content.
This is the first year that we have included a Statement for the BBC’s Digital Curriculum which will launch in January 2006. The Digital Curriculum will be a free online service, structured around key elements of the school curriculum for 5 to16 year olds, providing interactive resources which can be used at home, at school and in the community. It is the critical plank of our public purpose to help build a society strong in knowledge and skills.
Finally, in 2005/2006 we will continue to provide distinct communities in the UK with programmes that champion their interests, celebrate their creativity and value their diversity. We will launch local television news pilots in five West Midlands towns as a first step towards our plans for 60 local television services across the UK, and in BBC English Regions we will extend the existing chain of buses and Open Centres.
This year’s Statements of Programme Policy is the last set of complete commitments relating to the current Charter period. I hope that they provide a strong sense of how the BBC aims to deliver public value to all licence fee payers over the coming year.

Mark Thompson
Director-General
MARCH 2005

 

The BBC at a glance

26 BBC services across three platforms – television, radio and new media

TELEVISION
BBC One aims to be the UK’s most valued television channel, with the broadest range of quality programmes of any UK mainstream network.
BBC Two brings challenging, intelligent television to a wide audience by combining serious factual and specialist subjects with inventive comedy and distinctive drama.
BBC Three is dedicated to innovative British content and talent, providing a broad mix of programmes aimed primarily at younger audiences.
BBC Four aims to be British television’s most intellectually and culturally enriching channel, offering a distinctive mix of documentaries, performance, music, film and topical features.
CBeebies offers a mix of high-quality, UK-produced programmes designed to encourage learning through play for children aged five and under, in a consistently safe environment.
The CBBC Channel offers a distinctive mixed schedule for 6 to12 year olds, encouraging the development of existing and new interests, helping children to understand and embrace the world around them.

RADIO
BBC Radio 1 offers a high-quality service for young audiences combining the best new music, a comprehensive range of live studio sessions, concerts and festivals, and tailored speech output.
BBC Radio 2 brings listeners a broad range of popular and specialist music focused on British talent and live performances, complementedby a broad range of speech output.
BBC Radio 3 is centred on classical music, and also provides a broad spectrum of jazz and world music, drama and arts, and includes live and specially recorded performances.
BBC Radio 4 uses the power of the spoken word to offer programming of depth which seeks to engage and inspire with a unique mix of factual programmes, drama, readings and comedy.
BBC Radio Five Live broadcasts live news and sport 24 hours a day, presenting events as they happen in an accessible style, with particular emphasis on targeting 25 to 44 year olds.
BBC Five Live Sports Extra is a part-time network providing additional sports coverage through rights already owned by BBC Radio Five Live to deliver greater value to licence fee payers.
1Xtra plays the best in contemporary black music, with a strong emphasis on delivering high-quality live music and supporting new British artists.
BBC 6 Music engages with lovers of popular music by offering the best music from the BBC Sound Archive together with current releases outside the mainstream, complemented by music news and documentaries.
BBC 7 is a speech-based digital radio service offering comedy, drama and readings mainly from the BBC archive. It is also the home of children’s speech radio.
BBC Asian Network offers challenging debate, informed journalism, music, sport, entertainment and drama to audiences of British Asians from different generations.

NEW MEDIA
bbc.co.uk provides innovative and distinctive online content, promoting internet use to develop a deeper relationship with licence fee payers and to strengthen BBC accountability.
BBCi offers digital television audiences all-day, up-to-the-minute content including news, weather, learning, entertainment and interactive programming.
The Digital Curriculum will be a free online service, providing high-quality interactive resources structured around key elements of the school curriculum.

NEWS
BBC News seeks to provide the best journalismin the world and aspires to be the world’s most trusted news organisation: accurate, impartial and independent.
BBC News 24 delivers news, analysis and insight, supported by the BBC’s newsgathering operations, all day, every day of the year.
BBC Parliament is the only UK channel dedicatedto the coverage of politics, featuring debates, committees and the work of the devolved chambers of the UK.

NATIONS & REGIONS
BBC English Regions serves a wide range of urban and rural communities and aims to be the most trusted and creative community broadcaster in England.
BBC Scotland produces a broad range of distinctive television and radio programmes for all age groups that properly reflect the diverse nature of Scotland.
BBC Cymru Wales is committed to producing services which reflect the unique culture and history of Wales, and its social and political landscape.
BBC Northern Ireland provides something of value for everyone in the community through its broad portfolio of programmes and services that reflect local interests and experiences.