It’s a move in the right direction for the BBC to re-locate (like Channel 4) more television and radio programming out of London and into other areas - but is it too little, too late? A strange decision when they’ve recently made 1,000 staff redundant - some in Yorkshire.
The BBC in Yorkshire has been a tale of undervalue and missed opportunity.
I started working for them from 1968 when they started Look North in black and white from the All Soul’s Church Hall in Blackman Lane – as Yorkshire Television’s (YTV) brand new state-of-the-art, multi-million pound colour studios were being completed down the road.
YTV and the regional franchise system created several thousand highly paid permanent jobs and they put the “Yorkshire” brand on the national map with network quality programmes in all genres advertising the county. The impact, nationally, of Yorkshire Television, cannot be under-estimated.
The BBC upped its game when a purpose-built BBC studio facility was opened in 1974 in Woodhouse Lane, but incredibly bulldozed in 2004 when they moved inexplicably into rented offices and a minuscule news studio that you can’t even put a car in.
Yorkshire has the same population as Scotland but the BBC has neglected its importance for decades with Cinderella underfunding and facilities – even though it’s been the Oxbridge training facility for talent.
If we want the Northern Powerhouse to evolve then why are we still watching all our regional output (and ITV Calendar) in standard definition?
High definition (HDTV) – which is four times sharper – has been around since 2011 on Freeview in Yorkshire and now I’m watching Netflix and Prime dramas streaming in ultra sharp 4K. This quality situation is lamentable.
Why am I watching a red screen when Look North starts with barking dogs in Newcastle or dancing in a church hall? Yorkshire deserves better.