The banner headline for some of us is a production of King Lear for BBC Two starring Anthony Hopkins which he previous played at the National in 1987 and will be from the same production team as The Dresser, which is to the good since it put the words above staging.
[sidebar: Yes, I know, Lear again. But like Hamlet you're not really tuning in for the story but to see what Hopkins does with the central role. I've made my peace with this finally I think. It'll be interesting to see who the supporting cast is. McKellan as the Fool would be an interesting twist.]
Part of the speech was about trying to show that the BBC are thinking about how their channels should be defined how best to deal with them although its noticeable that BBC Three isn't mentioned at all in the press release.
Glancing through it's noticeable that the definitions still aren't as clear as they could be and will continue to be eroded as linear television gives way to catch-up. I wonder how many of us visit the various genres on the iPlayer and really know which channel something was broadcast.
Three things otherwise of note.
(1) This chunk about Arts:
"BBC Two will be the flagship channel for contemporary arts and music, with partnerships thriving on the channel."Performance" Note this is after the Summer sports disruptions and the Proms so their line of thinking isn't simply music. With any luck other than Lear this will include more actual "performance" rather than simply making of promotional hours about shows which people outside of London won't be able to see anyway.
-Ambitious run of Saturday nights dedicated to arts, music and performance will launch on BBC Two in September.
-There will be evenings devoted to Marlon Brando and Alan Bennett, landmark profiles of Sue Townsend and Vincent Van Gogh.
-Behind the scenes of cultural powerhouses like the Royal Ballet and Tate.
-Topical programming about the biggest arts events like Man Booker Prize and Frieze Art Week, and special access to once-in-a-lifetime, blockbuster exhibitions.
-BBC Two will bring audiences closer to great art and performance, to those who make it, how they make it and the art itself."
(2) Lucy Worsley is making a show for BBC One:
Henry VIII's Six Wives, 3x60 mins, made by Wall to Wall SouthSo will she break the forth wall in the middle of the action to give us some background to the events or simply take over the job of a background artist and then speak to camera in between whilst strolling around the same location as per a more typical presenter led documentary?
In an ambitious, ground-breaking approach to drama and history, historian Lucy Worsley time travels back to the Tudor Court to witness some of the most dramatic moments in the lives of Henry VIII’s Six Wives. Combining drama written by Chloe Moss with Lucy’s own contemporary historical comment, Lucy will move seamlessly from the present to the past, appearing as a range of silent servants: a maid, midwife or nurse maid. As the drama plays out, Lucy eavesdrops on the events in the Royal Court and reports back.
(3) The use of the word "impartial" in ever synopsis about the EU documentaries. It's the BBC. How does this not go without saying?