BBC sets out bold ambitions as part of its Annual Plan for 2019/20
Our ambition is to deliver the very best, most distinctive, British content of any broadcaster. The string of hits and award winning programmes of the past twelve months shows that we can deliver. We will build on that in the months ahead to meet the rising expectations of the public.Tony Hall
It makes central our commitment to bold and creative programme making, innovation in how we deliver services, impartial journalism in a rapidly changing world, and for BBC staff, how we make the BBC an even greater place to work:
- Creativity at the heart of the BBC: We will invest in the most creative content which is unique and distinctive. In the past year Bodyguard had an extraordinary 17 million people watching the finale, while Killing Eve had over 40 million requests-to-view on BBC iPlayer. The plan sets out the amazing programmes we will continue to make this year as our number one priority.
- Growing BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds: The plan sets out how we will develop and grow both BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds across the next twelve months, with a focus on personalisation. We will also refresh relevant content across all genres and all platforms to appeal to younger audiences.
- Trusted, impartial news at a critical time for the UK and the world: We will stand up for impartiality and continue to make sure the broadest range of views are heard. The BBC remains one of the most popular and trusted sources of news in the UK and globally. We will continue to develop our news offer, including podcasts for on demand and younger listeners. We will develop our ‘voice’ offer for news on smart speakers, so that trusted impartial news can be easily accessed by audiences.
- Making the BBC the best place to work: We will reflect the diverse communities of the UK in our workforce and output. The plan reveals that we have already met our workforce targets for BAME, LGBTQ+, and disability. By 2020 we aim to have a workforce at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry; and to have met portrayal and workforce targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than any other broadcaster. We have already reduced our gender pay gap by nearly a fifth over the past year, bringing the median gap down from 9.3% to 7.6% and we will continue to work to reduce it further this year.
The Annual Plan sets out how we will build on the success of programmes like Bodyguard, A Very English Scandal and Dynasties. Highlights for the year ahead, include Line of Duty, Gentlemen Jack, and His Dark Materials in drama, Strictly Come Dancing and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in entertainment, and One Planet: Seven Worlds and the Our Planet Matters season for factual.
In radio, the BBC will deliver creative new programming, alongside the shows loyal audiences continue to love. Highlights include a new landmark series from Radio 4 which will examine the relationship between art and science, a fresh take on Thackeray’s comic masterpiece Vanity Fair, and Radio 3 will explore the notion of twilight in literature and the arts. Across the BBC’s music networks, stations will champion new talent, specialist music and live performances.
The plan also demonstrates how the BBC will continue to reinvent public service broadcasting for a new generation - a challenge which has increased in both importance and urgency amid a fast-changing media landscape. These include content aimed at younger audiences, but also innovation in how we deliver content. The BBC has also proposed improvements to iPlayer, which will require a decision from Ofcom. In audio, we will continue to work with the whole sector to enhance our BBC Sounds offering in an evolving market and will continue to focus on increased personalisation of the app.
In journalism, the plan also highlights how the BBC will also strengthen its unique global voice, as Britain seeks to reshape its relationship with the world. Audiences will see more of our Reality Check fact-checking at the heart of daily news output so we can take on lies, half-truths and misinformation head-on in real time. And we’ll build on our recent We Are Bradford week by reporting from ‘pop up bureaux’ around the UK to ensure we’re reaching every area with the stories that matter to them.
In the year ahead, the BBC Board is also expected to make a decision on the future of free licences for the over 75s. An announcement is expected early summer.
The BBC will work to improve and build on the returns it makes through its commercial ventures to ensure more money can be spent on content. The BBC and ITV have recently announced the intention to launch BritBox - a commercial video-on-demand partnership - to strengthen and secure public service broadcasting for the future. We anticipate this being launched towards the end of 2019.
Tony Hall, Director General, says: “Today, the BBC enhances the lives of almost everyone in the UK. Around 44 million British people use us every day - more than 90% of the adult population every week.
“All broadcasters face the challenges of a fast changing media landscape. The BBC can meet those challenges and succeed in the future, just as we have succeeded in the past. We will achieve success by continuing to place British creativity at the heart of our program making. Our ambition is to deliver the very best, most distinctive, British content of any broadcaster. The string of hits and award winning programmes of the past twelve months shows that we can deliver. We will build on that in the months ahead to meet the rising expectations of the public.
“Our journalism must continue to ask the difficult questions and hold those in power to account. The role of our journalism at home and abroad has never been more important in a fast changing and uncertain world.
“And where we have big decisions to make that will impact the shape and future of the BBC, we will make them carefully and responsibly. We will always put the public and our audiences first.”
David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, says: “This plan lays the foundations for the continued success of the BBC. It has creativity and journalistic integrity at its heart and will ensure we continue to deliver great programming and journalism to the public.
“The BBC will of course, like many organisations, face challenges in the months and years ahead, but our plans mean that the public will have a huge amount to look forward to.”
BBC Press Office
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