Letter: The neglected arts

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I found D J Taylor's article "Forget Joan Collins - what about some arts on TV?" (3 December) at one and the same time depressing and predictable.

Isn't there some merit in the argument that if people really wanted to watch The South Bank Show rather than EastEnders, then the respective programmes' viewing figures would be reversed?

If the arts programmes currently in the schedules were pulling in high viewing figures, presumably the channels, commercial or otherwise, would be showing more "cultural" programming.

If Mr Taylor wishes to go to the theatre, he has to pay a price for a ticket. If he wishes to sample what TV really has to offer in the way of culture in this day and age, he should pay the modest subscription for cable (or equivalent) television.

In that realm, he can sample entire channels devoted to the performing arts, travel, history, science and the like, giving him, and doubtless those other terrestrial channels' parched victims, all the "culture" they could ever want.

MARK BRANDON

Managing director, New City Media, London N1

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