Letter: BBC backs animated talent

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The Independent Online
Sir: BBC Bristol's Animation Unit is today celebrating its second Oscar win in three years. Jayne Pilling's article ("Why cartoon Britain keeps on winning", 25 March) minimises the part played by the BBC in the "success story" of British animation while accusing us of neglecting new talent and failing "to maximise the adult audience".

A Close Shave achieved BBC 2's highest viewing figure of 1995 (10.62 million) by appealing to viewers of all ages.

Channel 4's experience as well as our own shows that the "adult" animated shorts favoured by Jayne Pilling attract only a small specialist audience wherever they are placed in the schedules.

When we began working with Nick Park at Aardman Animations he was still "new talent". We gave him the editorial support and financial backing he needed at that crucial stage of his career and laid the foundations of a creative relationship which resulted in the Oscar-winning success of The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave.

Currently we are producing five animated specials - four of them with brilliant new directors making their first full-length film. All have required long-term investment of energy, imagination, finance and faith.

Colin Rose

Executive Producer

Animation, BBC South