UNLESS, God forbid, there are more disasters on the scale of Lockerbie or the Foot and Mouth epidemic, the Tweed Valley, Teviotdale, Dumfries and Galloway and the Cheviot ranges will no longer be seen on British television after next year.
Ofcom, the new regulator of ITV and much else, has published a little-noticed review of public service broadcasting which recommended – actually recommended – the immediate halving and eventual abandonment of regional programming on ITV.
Buried under a blizzard of information, these proposals set out a timetable of cultural loss which is breathtaking in its presumption, but perhaps not surprising for a body based in London.
When the way in which ITV is transmitted changes from an analogue signal to a digital one, all that will be left of 50 years of regional programming in England and southern Scotland will be local news. After next year, normal service will never be resumed.
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