Entertainment & Arts

World Service boss announces cuts

Craig Oliver
Image caption World Service controller Craig Oliver announced the cuts in an email to staff

The World Service will no longer broadcast plays, the Proms or Wimbledon, as part of a cost-cutting exercise, the BBC has announced.

Craig Oliver, controller of the English speaking section, said the "difficult decisions" he had been forced to make would come into force from April.

In an email to staff, he added the changes were necessary to deal with the "tough financial climate".

The BBC admitted the changes would not be popular with audiences.

"Like all of the public sector, BBC World Service is having to respond to the challenges of an increasingly difficult financial climate at home and abroad," the statement read.

"These are tough decisions, taken carefully and with great thought. We acknowledge that they will not be popular with some of our audiences and we share their disappointment."

As well as dramas, which have been a part of the World Service English schedules for more than 75 years, highlights programmes dedicated to The Proms and the Wimbledon tennis championships will also end.

Mr Oliver said drama and music performances would continue to feature in the arts programme, The Strand, which would also reflect the Proms and world music.

But the weekly, hour-long Proms highlights show, together with The World of Music series, would not be recommissioned.

Grand Slam tennis, meanwhile, would be part of sports shows and bulletins, but an hour-long programme reflecting on each day's play at Wimbledon, would not continue.

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