Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Plus Ça Change - Art on Mondays on BBC4

Be forewarned - this is a bit of a rant - PLUS Quite a lot of information about "Art on Monday Nights" on BBC Four

At a time when art programmes seem to be burgeoning and successful (or soon to be) on Sky Arts, Channel 4 and Channel 5, we are faced with a BBC which is producing archive only programmes on BBC4 which has, traditionally, been the art channel. (Of which more below - including 'Art on Monday Nights on BBC Four)

I wrote about the planned demise of BBC4 as an originator of art programmes back in March 2021 - as did others - see 

It's maybe even more pertinent now that Nadine Dorries (who I want to be very rude about but will instead ignore her) has "got her teeth" into The BBC Licence Fee. This is the woman who announces this will be the last licence fee settlement and then announces there will be a discussion and no decisions have been made as yet. Yet more political lies and dissembling??

A statement has been made by the Director General and the Chair of The BBC about the proposal for the Licence Fee Settlement - which has for of code for "more cuts to come' 

As a result recent news coverage includes some significant criticism - and I want to add to it!

Art on Monday Nights on BBC4

What we're getting on BBC4 at the moment is what I'm calling "Art on Monday Nights" - which is basically a lot of REPEATS or compilations of REPEATS

So this was yesterday evening

The title of the first episode of Art of France "Plus Ça Change" was, in the circumstances, very pertinent!

Yesterday evening we had 

Links you may need to be aware of (if not already) are
The main problem with the BBC website is it doesn't have a way looking up ART programmes - as opposed to "Arts" - and this is what The BBC means by Arts, Culture and Media

The main issue is NOT that it's not worth looking again at programmes in the Archive - If they were good programmes the first time then they're definitely worth another look. 
BUT but access and choice both need to be improved
  • they need to be available ALL THE TIME via iPlayer (i.e. we've already paid for these!)
  • they need to contained in a list so that people can identify what's worth watching
The only bright spot on the horizon is that there seemed to be a significant lobby of MPs in the debate yesterday who recognised that certain aspects of The BBC should not be externalised - and the arts was one of them.

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