Thompson Seeks to Further Assure Scottish TV Programme-makers

Scottish TV programme-makers have received a further assurance that the BBC intends commissioning more network productions from Scotland – and not just in name alone.

BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson reiterated comments made last year – when he attended the official opening of BBC Scotland’s new headquarters, at Pacific Quay, in Glasgow – that he wants 17 per cent of network productions to come from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And Thompson also sought to reassure local newspapers that the BBC wasn’t seeking to compete with them, but, instead, co-operate.

Responding to criticism that some BBC TV programmes billed as ‘Scottish’ have had little or no creative or financial connection with Scotland, he said the definition of what is ‘Scottish’ needs to change.

A commission into the future of Scottish broadcasting – set up in August by First Minister, Alex Salmond, and being chaired by Blair Jenkins – recently provided the example of schools drama series, Waterloo Road, being ‘wrongly’ billed as Scottish.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Thompson said: “When we opened Pacific Quay, I committed the BBC to commissioning at least 17 per cent of its TV network production from the three nations and said I wanted Scotland to deliver a proportion at least as large as its proportion of the UK population.