BBC arts funding to get 20% boost

The British Museum Tony Hall wants more partnerships with UK arts institutions

Related Stories

Funding for the BBC's arts coverage will go up by 20%, the broadcaster's director general will announce later.

Tony Hall - who used to run the Royal Opera House - says he wants to return the arts to the corporation's "heart".

It will mean plays, art exhibitions and more live music from around the UK being broadcast on the BBC.

Among Lord Hall's proposals are a new "BBC Arts at" brand and new television series fronted by historian Simon Schama and broadcaster Andrew Marr.

The director general, formerly the BBC's head of news, returned to the corporation following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He wants to see the BBC collaborate more with arts institutions around the country.

In a speech on Tuesday he is expected to announce new partnerships with London's British Museum, the Tate and the Manchester International Festival.

The plans mean that more opening nights, major exhibitions and arts events will be shown live on television.

Hidden heroes

An experimental digital service, known as The Space and developed by the BBC and Arts Council England, is also due to be relaunched in 2014.

"Arts programming sits right at the heart of the BBC and is a vital part of who we are, but I want us to to be much more ambitious," Lord Hall said.

"We need to showcase more of the incredible talent that this country has to offer to the widest possible audiences."

The BBC's arts correspondent David Sillito said Lord Hall is keen to "return the BBC back to the founding principles of its first director general John Reith to inform, educate and entertain".

"We already know a few of the details of today's speech but this is being presented as something rather broader, an outline of Lord Hall's vision of the future," he said.

An enhanced iPlayer, allowing users to personalise their viewing and listening choices, is expected to be announced.

Lord Hall is also due to announce major new television series featuring two faces familiar to BBC audiences.

Simon Schama will front a five-part series in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, exploring the history of Britain through portraiture.

A series looking at the greatest writers in Scotland will be presented by journalist Andrew Marr.

And there will be a series of six BBC One programmes seeking to uncover the "hidden heroes" of British art, with 10 amateurs competing for the title of Britain's best artist.

The announcement is part of the director general's new strategy for the BBC and comes as the corporation is in the process of cutting 2,000 jobs by 2017 after the freezing of the licence fee.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    154. Ms Rant
    OK I'll leave you on a desert island with a Van Gogh and a Picasso - which will you eat first?
    I would use the Van Gogh as a raft and the Picasso as a sail. See, art makes you inventive. I would love to watch you chomp away at whichever one you think is more nutritious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    @154 Art covers a lot more than a few famous pictures.. Music? Its not just paintings you know. However I am sceptical about what the BBC calls art. BBC radio is far more interesting to listen to than commercial radio.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    And about time! The BBC wastes too much money on popular trivia and not enough on serious productions. I would love to see the BBC televising live theatre from our fantastic regional theatres.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    I think it's about time the bbc became a pay as you watch channel.

    They might have a shock at how many of their prestigious programmes don't get many takers!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    152.Green Ears
    "The arts contribute a lot to our economy and culture."

    OK I'll leave you on a desert island with a Van Gogh and a Picasso - which will you eat first? Or perhaps you might prefer to take a radio of desalination device. I know which would give me greatest joy!

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    I would rather see art on the BBC, than Tory propaganda.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    Ms Rant
    Comment number 146 is an Editors' Pick
    22 Minutes ago

    In a time of plenty, I'd say fantastic. But we are not in a time of plenty, no peice of art is going to feed the starving or heal the sick. What we need at the moment is an investment is science...
    The arts contribute a lot to our economy and culture.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    Good news, and I'd like to see where the BBC is actually economising and streamlining its operation at the same time. The BBC has demonstrated a mind-boggling profligacy with our money. I have no issue if its spent wisely, but it needs to better demonstrate what its stopped doing and how its budget will be declining.

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    71.Laud Sprowston - "When will the BBC stop spending money on endless Cooking Programmes, Flog It, Housing Programmes too numerous to mention and the intolerable Bargin Hunt.........."

    If you really need that question answering then you're not the bright spark are you....

    ....the Beeb will stop showing one or more of them as soon as millions
    of people stop watching them.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    This is what the BBC should be for.

    Providing programmes that you won't find on a ratings obsessed commercial channel.

    I'd go further & say that they should cut out expensive reality based shows, like 'the voice' which would work better on a commercial channel anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    I was reading last week about the increase in "volunteers" in Museums and arts related activities so why the increase? Great to see the BBC continuing to fund minorities. Disgraceful!

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    I've just watched Channel 4's coverage of the Prix De L' Arc de Triomphe on Channel4. Europe's premier horseracing event. Whilst the additional arte coverage is welcome, I agree with other posters' views that the Beeb needs to up its programme making game in drama, comedy, sport and current affairs. Spend the money making programmes, not paying managers, IT consultants, and compliance officers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    In a time of plenty, I'd say fantastic. But we are not in a time of plenty, no peice of art is going to feed the starving or heal the sick. What we need at the moment is an investment is science, and the BBC could do its part by trying to inspire the next generation to take an interest in essential sciences.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    132. OLDCOMP
    The BBC has never achieved the standard of West Wing or the Homeland series
    If you think Homeland is of a high standard you don't know what you're talking about - the innumerable ridiculous and twists have made it it devoid of any credibility and seem to be invented just to keep the show running for as many series as possible. A bad copy of 24 which was derivative as it is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    Anyone else here been asked for 'more information' before they let you post?

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    12. ... And yet the cheapest non-member ticket at Arsenal is £26 and the cheapest tickets at Covent Garden are £8.

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    Well the BBC seems to be reduced to the News studio and the one where they do the film review and Breakfast in Manchester. The Elstree Eastenders set is closing as TV Centre has and the Ealing film studios sold long ago. Everything else is bought in. Even the World News item is presented from the Yard outside BH. So I ask where has all our money GONE?? Up a fifth?? Are we joking?

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    135.Kilgore - ".....until its put out to subscription as most people would like to see it...."

    Erm, hello - your opinion & that of your mates (you hang out with them because you agree with them on so much.....) is not public opinion....

    ...just because you think something it does not for one minute mean everyone else does....

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    What a shame the BBC are not using Art Historians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    Yeah, I can just picture the British Museum being used as a location for a forthcoming episode of that fantastic 'comedy' Citizen Khan. Or Phil Mitchell 'aving a right old barney' with a couple of tasty geezers in the exhibition rooms of the National Gallery over the respective merits of Monet and Velasquez.


Page 6 of 13


More Entertainment & Arts stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.