BBC 'will review Jubilee coverage'

 

The BBC said it will take on board criticism of its Diamond Jubilee coverage to see how its programming could have been improved.

The corporation has received more than 2,400 complaints from the public about some of the live broadcasts during the national celebrations.

It drew stinging criticism during the river pageant broadcast, with viewers attacking its "inane" commentary, camera angles and sound quality.

Some people also singled out a sequence in Tuesday's coverage which saw Fearne Cotton and Paloma Faith discussing a Jubilee-themed sickbag.

But responding to the complaints today, the BBC accepted "not every aspect of our coverage was to everyone's taste", but there had also been "appreciation" of the service it provided.

BBC director general Mark Thompson has already told staff that the output had been impressive.

Despite the criticisms, audiences were high with an average audience of 10.3 million people watching the pageant broadcast over its five-hour duration.

Monday's concert saw the audience peak at 17 million, making it the most-watched programme of the year.

Responding to viewers' concerns with a message on its complaints website, the BBC said: "We acknowledge that not every aspect of our coverage was to everyone's taste, but across all the hours of broadcasting we have received appreciations as well as complaints.

"It is worth noting that this was a live broadcasting event of unprecedented scale and complexity amidst weather conditions which turned out to be challenging for all involved.

"We review all the programming we broadcast and this weekend's coverage will be no exception. All the comments we have received will be part of the feedback we use when we come to look at how this weekend's programming could have been improved."

Mr Thompson emailed staff earlier this week saying: "Our output has been impressive not only in its scale, but in its ambition, quality and outstanding journalism.

"By capturing the spectacle of the Thames pageant and yesterday's ceremonies alongside smaller local celebrations, we reflected reaction from up and down the country."

A former BBC executive - former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer - said the BBC "tried too hard" to make coverage of the pageant "informal" and "inclusive".

He said: "I don't think this is going to be the BBC's Bafta award-winning entry next year but all that went wrong was a very conscious attempt, I think, to make the whole event informal and, to use the modern idiom, inclusive and warm, and the BBC just probably tried too hard to do it."

PA

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