- The BBC has pledged to reaffirm BBC1's position as a distinctive public service network following the release of its fourth annual list of promises to licence fee payers.
Only days after it was revealed that BBC1 had suffered some of its worst ever ratings, BBC Broadcast chief executive, Will Wyatt, said that BBC1 will be more distinctive and balanced but refused to guarantee that Peter Salmon, the channel's controller, would get the extra £100 million which he says he needs to improve the channel's drama and comedy output.
Salmon used the Edinburgh Television Festival last month to ask for more money. Describing the channel as "stretched", he insisted, "we've got to fight for more cash". His plea appears to have fallen on deaf ears however, with Sir Christopher Bland, the BBC chairman, remaining unmoved saying; "What controller would not like another £100m?".
Drama and situation comedy has featured for the third year running on the list of areas which need further attention by the corporation. Arts programming, too, needed to be stronger although the BBC has pledged to put more effort into improving arts output.
Wyatt also said that the review of the BBC, being conducted by the director of television, Alan Yentob, and Salmon, was nearing its conclusion.