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Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives

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BBC Scotland executives have set themselves the goal of making up ground lost to their counterparts in Wales in the race to make programmes for the national network.

There is a growing perception that the BBC's new headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow has become the poor relation in producing major programmes for the UK, especially when compared to the remarkable success of Wales.

As last night's blockbuster Dr Who episode, made in Cardiff and starring the Scottish actor David Tennant, drew record audiences for the BBC, the view has grown that Scotland has fallen behind in attracting major production-making facilities from London.

The decision to transfer the making of Dr Who from London to Cardiff was taken before the BBC came up with a new policy of encouraging more productions outside London.

Two years ago, only 3.3 per cent of the BBC network output came from Scotland but after the new policy was introduced BBC Scotland gave an assurance that this would climb to 9 per cent by 2016, with an interim target of 6 per cent by 2012.

A BBC Scotland spokesman said yesterday that the 6 per cent target had already been met, thanks to the network success of A History of Scotland, the recent Scottish season on BBC Four and several children's TV shows as well as National Lottery programmes bearing a made-in-Glasgow stamp.

Next year, said the spokesman, Pacific Quay would play host to the network production of the Friday night BBC Two Newsnight Review as well as the major Alan Yentob arts programme Imagine and the popular quiz show The Weakest Link with Anne Robinson.

The spokesman said: "We are gradually building up a network production base at Pacific Quay and we are also looking to new commissions in drama, factual, children's and comedy programmes."

Cardiff is building on the success of Dr Who and other major network productions to make several television dramas, including a new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, a remake of Upstairs, Downstairs and BBC One's long-running hospital drama Casualty, which is to relocate from Bristol.

Television industry experts believe that Cardiff now has the largest concentration of media jobs in the UK outside London.

The success of Doctor Who, they say, provided a platform to develop the skills and experience of local people within the industry and then attract further productions to the city and region. The BBC has outgrown the programme's dedi-cated studios in Pontypridd and is proposing to build a "drama village" in the country, possibly in Cardiff Bay.

The Tardis connection has also meant a major boost for tourism in Cardiff with visitor numbers increasing more than 40 per cent over the past 10 years and close to 13 million people visiting in 2008. Tourism officials attribute the large rise in the popularity of the town to the TV show.

The BBC has pledged to make 50 per cent of network TV shows outside London by 2016, with 16 per cent to come from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Spending more of its budget outside London is considered vital by the BBC as it seeks to defend the licence fee from critics, including the Conservative Party which failed this year in an attempt to freeze the charge at £139.50.

BBC research has shown that people's loyalty to the corporation drops the further they live from London.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Macleod, Angus (2010-01-02). Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives. The Times p. 8.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Macleod, Angus. "Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives." The Times [add city] 2010-01-02, 8. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Macleod, Angus. "Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives." The Times, edition, sec., 2010-01-02
  • Turabian: Macleod, Angus. "Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives." The Times, 2010-01-02, section, 8 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives | url=,_order_BBC_Scotland_executives | work=The Times | pages=8 | date=2010-01-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Follow that Tardis, order BBC Scotland executives | url=,_order_BBC_Scotland_executives | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>