How healthy are BBC One, Two and Four?

Director, BBC Vision

Today the BBC's governing body the BBC Trust has published its report on three of the BBC's television channels, BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four.

These reports are essentially health checks done every five years to ensure that the channels are delivering the kind of programmes that audiences expect of them.

The way it works is quite simple.

We submit a report on each channel to the Trust, analysing its performance, the range of programming provided and an outline of its achievements and strategy for the future.

The Trust examines these reports, canvasses the views of licence fee payers and then publishes its findings. You can read the reports we submitted for each channel - part one is here:

(BBC Trust Review Exec Submission 1 [pdf]) and part two is here: (BBC Trust Review Exec Submission 2 [pdf]). There's a summary of the report at the beginning of each one.

Also you can read the Trust's conclusions on their website.

I've had a chance to read these reports in full and I'm pleased to see that the Trust has recognised all the good work that the channels have been doing to deliver great programmes to you on all channels. On BBC One, dramas like Five Daughters and Luther have been truly distinctive offerings this year.

Both have had a passionate reaction from the audience as seen on the posts on this blog by Five Daughters executive producer, Susan Hogg and Luther scriptwriter, Neil Cross.

Elsewhere on the channel we've had programmes like The Day The Immigrants Left, Bang Goes The Theory and Modern Masters that are offering viewers the kind of unique peak viewing that you just wouldn't see anywhere else.

This is what the Trust want to see even more of but I'm pleased they can see how much we are already doing here.

On BBC Two and BBC Four the Opera season, Gareth Malone Goes To Glyndebourne and Wonders of The Solar System have proved to be hits with audiences and critics alike.

More recently I've been watching the Fatherhood season on BBC Four which is the kind of distinctive programming that only BBC Four would offer and that the Trust is challenging us to provide more of in order to increase the 'reputational dividend' for the BBC still further.

Richard Klein, controller of BBC Four, has written on this blog about the Fatherhood season, as has Andrew Martin, presenter of Disappearing Dad.

Another area where the Trust has asked some searching questions is our daytime output.

We've made great headway in introducing more current and consumer affairs into the daytime schedules with programmes such as Rip Off Britain, Crimewatch Roadshow and The Estate We're In (which won a Royal Television Society award and the second series of which is airing today) alongside new dramas Land Girls and Missing.

There is even more that we plan to do here; new Missing Live, a week of programmes around Remembrance Sunday, a new series of Jimmy McGovern's Moving On and a 1960s season of programmes including drama The Indian Doctor with Sanjeev Bhaskar - just the sort of quality programmes that sets us apart from all other channels in daytime.

So overall I am pleased to see that the Trust has endorsed our determination to bring audiences programmes that surprise and delight in a truly distinctive way.

There is plenty more to do and you will see this coming over the next year or so with new dramas such as Outcasts and Sherlock and factual programmes such as Frozen Planet, the Battle of Britain season and a major new literature series, Faulks On Fiction.

But in the meantime I encourage you to have a read of both reports and let us know what you think.

Jana Bennett is the director of BBC Vision

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