BBC accused of putting antiques before ambition

Shows about antiques and curios have become so commonplace on BBC television that they are making rare artifacts of the few programmes of genuine originality and ambition that remain in the daytime schedule.

The BBC Trust – the corporation's governing body – yesterday published pointed criticisms of the ubiquity of shows on what it termed "collectible hunting" which, along with property shows, proliferate on the BBC's biggest channels. The Trust said it would call on the BBC to improve the "quality and ambition" of the daytime output on BBC1 and BBC2 and report back to the governing body in the autumn.

At the same time it announced that 6 Music, the BBC digital radio station that had been earmarked for the axe, would be given a reprieve because "the case has not been made" for its closure.

That decision followed a passionate campaign by the station's listeners, who deluged the Trust with 25,000 emails praising 6 Music's distinctive programming. The Trust was unconvinced that consumers of daytime television output were similarly satisfied.

"Some viewers believe parts of our schedules lack quality and have become too weighted towards long-running factual entertainment strands with similar formats and covering similar subject areas, characterised as 'collectible hunting' and property," it said.

Although BBC1's Antiques Roadshow has been running successfully for 31 years and was given a revamp with the addition of presenter Fiona Bruce, it has been followed by a succession of similar BBC formats including Cash in the Attic, Car Booty, To Buy or Not to Buy and Bargain Hunt.

The criticisms were made in an interim review of the performances of BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4.

"The biggest single issue for audiences is that there is not programming which is 'fresh and new' to meet their expectations," said the governing body, which was particularly frustrated by BBC2's failure to differentiate itself from BBC1.

Further disappointment was expressed by the Trust in the BBC annual report, also published yesterday. "The BBC's most pressing priority is to provide output that is distinctive and creative since audience expectations in this area are still not being met," it said.

It implored BBC management to use the licence fee to "take more risks with new, distinctive programming and be more ambitious".

The Trust voiced concern that BBC3, which is aimed primarily at a young audience, lacked presence on the internet. "We note that use of the channel's online and multiplatform offerings remains relatively low and we will seek further clarification of the role of online for BBC3," it reported.

The Trust reiterated concerns that the BBC needed to do more to interest young people in current affairs, particularly "those from lower income households". It said: "Engaging all audiences with news is central... and, while certain programmes such as Radio 1's Newsbeat and the BBC1's 8pm Update have helped to some extent, this challenge remains a major one." Jana Bennet, the BBC's director of television, expressed gratitude that the Trust had elsewhere acknowledged "the excellent work that the BBC's television channels are already doing".

She said: "There is always more we can do and I am pleased that the plans we have outlined in our submissions have been endorsed by the Trust."

The annual report disclosed that the top 15 BBC executives were paid £4.76m last year, up from £4.6m in 2008-09. The total amount spent on talent fell marginally, from £229.2m to £221.5m.

BBC Asian Network, another digital radio station identified for closure, has not escaped. The BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, said he was prepared to consider a "formal proposal" for the winding up of the network, though he emphasised that it must be accompanied by a proposition for meeting the needs of the station's audience on other parts of the BBC's output.

The saving of 6 Music was welcomed. The British Phonographic Industry said the station makes "a unique contribution to the UK's cultural life". The Music Publishers Association praised its role in spotting new talent: "The decision to save 6 Music will be particularly welcomed by those young up-and-coming bands and songwriters to whom the station has been so important."

Proving the point? Yesterday morning's BBC1 schedule

09:15 Estate We're In,

Neighbour of the year, Silla 'Supergran' Carron, takes up the challenge of transforming a Bristol estate that's lost its sense of community.

10:00 Homes under the Hammer

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit two houses that have been sold at auction to find out who bought them and what they paid.

11:45 Cash in the Attic

Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune.

12:15 Bargain Hunt

A team of IT colleagues take on forensic anthropologists at Derby University Antiques Fair.

Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015