Media / Talk of the Trade: Duds and delights

THE BBC is super-serving the middle classes. This is the predictable conclusion of both the BBC's own research and that of outside bodies such as the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. It was probably ever so, but when the corporation is defending its right to a statutory licence fee to pay for good television programmes for everyone, it becomes a touchy subject.

It would be useful if the BBC could get its act together when devising mass market programmes: Saturday's Happy Families, featuring caged grannies, is another light entertainment dud. But as a member of the privileged ABC1 grouping being super-served, I can only say: keep it up.

The licence fee is certainly worth paying for such programmes as 'Wild Swans', in which Omnibus brought together the author Jung Chang and her mother; Love Lies Bleeding; and Timewatch's 'Battle for Kursk', about the Ukraine encounter between Hitler's troops and the Russians in 1943, a little-known turning point of the Second World War. Where else would you find such programmes but on the BBC?