Network Shows Headed for Scotland as BBC Announces its Out-of-London Plans

BBC Scotland is to become the production base for a handful of well-known network shows, including the Weakest Link and Newsnight Review.

It follows an announcement last night that some 50 per cent of all the BBC’s network schedule will be made out of London and a previous one that three commissioning editors – factual, entertainment and daytime – are to be based at BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters.

Also confirmed is an already known proposal that, by 2016, some nine per cent of the BBC’s network output will come from Scotland – reflecting Scotland’s share of the UK population. That will, however, disappoint Blair Jenkins, the chair of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission – which recently published its conclusions – who has recently voiced the hope that the timescale be shortened.

Says the BBC of its out-of-London plan: “This new approach demonstrates the BBC’s commitment to changing the nature of programme supply so that it better reflects the diversity of creative talent around the UK and connects with the audiences it serves.”

Adds BBC Scotland Head of Programmes, Maggie Cunningham: “Our new studios in Pacific Quay [in Glasgow] and Dumbarton are already producing a wide range of programmes for audiences here in Scotland and throughout the UK – but this should dramatically increase our output over the next few years.”

To join Newsnight Review and the Weakest Link, Question Time is to be produced from Glasgow – by four years’ time – and Alan Yentob’s Imagine series will be executive produced from Glasgow.