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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Attenborough: BBC neglects arts
Sir David Attenborough
Sir David has worked for the BBC for 50 years
The BBC is not producing enough arts and music programming, veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has said.

Sir David, 76, one of the best-known faces on British TV and a former controller of BBC Two, told The Times the corporation was neglecting "serious broadcasting".

The naturalist, whose The Blue Planet was an international hit, has a new series, Life of Mammals, schedule for broadcast on BBC One over the coming months.

Hugh Dancy plays the confused Daniel Deronda
BBC One is to show an adaptation of Daniel Deronda
But in an interview on Tuesday he criticised the BBC for having moved away from its commitment to the arts.

"There are a lot of areas in what you would call serious broadcasting that the BBC doesn't do much of," he said.

"The pendulum has swung to one side, but I hope and believe that it will swing back."

And he added that current BBC TV programming might give ammunition to the corporation's critics. "There are MPs who will say the BBC is out of touch with its viewers."

But the BBC said the range of BBC One's autumn season, announced on Tuesday, showed it was committed to a well-balanced programming mix.

"The range and breadth of programmes for the autumn speak for themselves," said a spokesman.

Attack

He cited programmes like, Michael Palin's Sahara, a new three-part adaptation of George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda and Sir David's new series as highlights of the schedule.

Sir David's comments come days after outgoing ITV controller David Liddiment attacked the BBC's Director General Greg Dyke over his attitude to culture.

"He is providing a terrible disservice to range and quality and cultural values in Britain," said Mr Liddiment.

He added that the corporation was driven by ratings and "not a lot else".

The BBC dismissed Mr Liddiment's criticisms.

See also:

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