Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 19:11 UK

BBC evicts top shows from London

By Torin Douglas
Media correspondent, BBC News

Anne Robinson
The Weakest Link's production team are currently based in London

Quiz show The Weakest Link is to have its production base moved to Glasgow as part of a plan to make sure the BBC represents all parts of the UK.

The Anne Robinson-fronted programme is one of a number of shows which will move from London, senior executive Jana Bennett has announced.

Question Time and arts programmes Imagine and Newsnight Review will move to the BBC's new centre in Glasgow.

Crimewatch and Casualty are to be relocated to Cardiff, Ms Bennett added.

Casualty moves from Bristol, which will remain the home of natural history programmes and other factual series.

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett on plans to produce more top shows out of London

Departments such as sport, children's programmes and BBC Radio 5 Live are already due to have to a new base in Salford, but the announcement from Ms Bennett, the director of BBC Vision, will increase the pace of change.

She told the Royal Television Society in London that there would eventually be BBC "centres of excellence" in London, Salford, Bristol, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow.

'Close relationships'

"I believe that by investing in talent across the UK there will be more talent on our screens which reflect different types of voices and a different sense of place and a different way of thinking," she said.

"The BBC wants to increase its approval in the north of England, for example, and in Scotland."

The BBC should develop "close relationships" among people who felt its programmes were "representative" of their lives, she added.

Approval ratings for the corporation fall noticeably the further people live from London.

In response, the BBC plans to produce half its network television programmes outside London by the year 2016.


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