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BBC2, 40 years old, has lost its way

By David Herman   April 2004

The timing is perfect. In the run-up to the renewal of the BBC’s charter, BBC2’s 40th anniversary gives the corporation a chance to polish the family silver and show off the classics of yesteryear. Prepare for lots of The Forsyte Saga, Civilisation, Our Friends in the North and Yes, Minister. Over the past 40 years BBC2 has been one of the great treasure-houses of British culture.

There is a snag. The more the BBC reminds us of the glories of the past, the more we will realise that BBC2 is not what it was. What would its controller, Jane Root,…

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