BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  Entertainment: TV and Radio
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Monday, 4 March, 2002, 10:47 GMT
BBC Four happy with ratings
Surrealissimo was broadcast on the opening night
Surrealissimo was broadcast on the opening night
New arts and culture channel BBC Four says it is "very happy" with opening night viewing figures of 11,000.

The new station, which started on Saturday evening, replaces BBC Knowledge and runs from 1900 to 0100 nightly.

The service's launch was simultaneously aired on BBC Two, which in turn attracted one million viewers.


It's a retreat into the tortoise shell of London luvvie middle class pretension

BBC News Online user Andrew Utterson
Highlights on the opening night included an arts drama-documentary entitled Surrealissimo, starring Ewan Bremner, Stephen Fry and Katrin Cartlidge.

A BBC Four spokeswoman said the viewing figures were about the same level as those of BBC Knowledge.

She said: "We hope that in the next few months, with some fantastic programmes lined up, that we will encourage people to take up digital."

Mixed reception

The opening night attracted a mixed reception.

Writing in The Times, Erica Wagner said the schedule made her feel "condescended and excluded."

Some BBC News Online viewers were also critical.

"I hope it gets better because it could not get any worse," wrote J Thornton, while Andrew Utterson branded it "a retreat into the tortoise shell of London luvvie middle class pretension".

But others praised it, including Prue Biddle from the UK who "loved" it and Michael Nolan who was "impressed" with what he saw.

BBC Four will highlight foreign films including A One and A Two
BBC Four will highlight foreign films including A One and A Two
The channel is the third new free-to-air digital channel from the BBC, after the children's stations CBeebies and CBBC.

Before the launch BBC Four controller Roly Keating described his channel as a "classic, mixed-genre public service channel with a twist".

The twist, he said, is that it puts arts and culture at the centre of the schedule.

'Compelling'

"Each evening you might drop in to enjoy the best in contemporary documentary, music, theatre or international cinema," he said.

"It will bring you performances that you've read about and wanted to see, and create compelling productions of its own."

Over the weeks to come, BBC Four will broadcast for the first time Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play, which was abandoned by the BBC in the mid-80s.

There will also be a series on the Brit Art movement featuring many of the scene's biggest names.

See also:

04 Mar 02 | Reviews
BBC Four: Your views
14 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Picture gallery: BBC Four
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more TV and Radio stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more TV and Radio stories