The BBC’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2011/12, published today, set out the BBC’s main achievements for audiences in Scotland over the last year.
Programming highlights included Mrs Brown’s Boys, which was broadcast across the UK and which received one of the highest audience appreciation scores ever recorded for a BBC comedy programme, The Field of Blood, and The Scheme, which attracted a 45 per cent share of the audience.
Other BBC Scotland programmes which were also broadcast to audiences across the UK included Case Histories, Young James Herriot, Rab C Nesbitt, and Kevin Bridges: What’s the Story.
In news, BBC Scotland’s television news attracted some of its highest audiences in over a decade, with almost one million viewers tuning in on the day of the severe storms on 3 January.
And following the BBC Trust’s decision to approve carriage on Freeview, the audience for the Gaelic language service has doubled; this has been particularly welcomed by the Audience Council Scotland, the Trust’s independent advisory body, which has also published a review of BBC performance in Scotland today.
BBC Trustee for Scotland Bill Matthews said:
“This year has seen a strong performance from BBC Scotland with some record audience figures and great journalism, showing that it is delivering well for licence fee payers across the country.
“Looking ahead, Audience Council Scotland has highlighted the continuing importance of accuracy when covering news stories where circumstances are different in Scotland compared with the rest of the UK nations.”
The Audience Council review published today also commended the BBC for a year of strong journalism in Scotland and welcomed innovations such as the new regional round-up on Reporting Scotland, but felt that there was still scope to improve the balance between Scottish and England-only news stories on news programmes.
The Council has set out priorities for the Trust to consider in the coming year, including a need to look carefully at the implications of the plans to phase out nations variants from BBC Two HD; a call for a network supply process for radio as there is for TV; and further progress on achieving the right balance of coverage between Scottish news and matters that relate only to England.
The Council also recommended that the Trust seeks regular updates from the BBC Executive on the effects of editorial changes to services in Scotland as part of Delivering Quality First.
Notes to Editors
The BBC Annual Report and Accounts for 2011/12 can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/annualreport
The Audience Council Scotland Review can be found at: