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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
BBC Wales' 'faster' digital move
Mark Thompson being interviewed in Cardiff on Friday
Mark Thompson was at a public service broadcasting conference
The BBC in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should migrate to a digital future faster than the rest of the UK, says its director general.

Speaking at an Ofcom conference, Mark Thompson also said he was committed to shifting spending on network programmes out of London into the nations.

He highlighted the success of dramas such as Doctor Who and said BBC Wales was "on a roll at the moment".

The conference in Cardiff looked at the future of public service broadcasting.

Mr Thompson said the corporation was "looking hard" at what would be done in Cardiff and across Wales to get BBC Wales ready for the next step in digital media.

Speaking of what the BBC wanted to do in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, he said: "Across all media, we want to make sure BBC in the nations migrates into a digital future faster than the UK as a whole."

We're shifting the proportion of spend on things like network production for television from London to the rest of the UK
Mark Thompson, BBC Director General

Finding the best ways of getting what the BBC produces to audiences was very important, added Mr Thompson.

He said: "I do think in the context, for example in Wales with the Welsh language, that the use of on-demand applications so that people can get programmes when they want, it could be of particular relevance."

The success of BBC Wales-produced dramas such as Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood, was something that had to be built on, said Mr Thompson.

He wanted to bring more major long-running dramas to Wales and build on the talent and expertise here and in the other nations.

Mr Thompson said: "We're shifting the proportion of spend on things like network production for television from London to the rest of the UK with particular focus on the nations.

David Tennant, star of Doctor Who
Productions like Doctor Who showed the "talent" in Wales

"The thing about BBC Wales is that it's on a roll at the moment. Dramas like Doctor Who and Torchwood, factual programmes like Tribe. There's a great deal of talent."

He said he expected the increased visibility for Welsh programming and Welsh talent on the networks that had been seen in recent years to continue.

The BBC's public service role in Wales was "particularly important" said Mr Thompson as it was not a country with a large number of local and national newspapers.

"There's a limited range of opportunities for people find out about what is going on in the world and entering into the debate about the future of Wales.

"So the BBC's news and current affairs, but really all of its output, has always been very important.

"I think that as Wales thinks about its future, as it goes on to its next stage in terms of political development and economic development, I think it's very important that the BBC is there and it will be."

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