Top Gear

BBC launches online store

Top Gear

The BBC has launched a “treasure trove” of its content from the last 60 years.

BBC Store is a new digital service that aims to give audiences easy access to their favourite BBC programmes.

The website allows users to download individual episodes, series or bundles of several series of the same show for a one-off payment, which can then be watched through BBC iPlayer in a new My Programmes area.

Does TV's top talent have too much power?

Jeremy Clarkson

Since Jeremy Clarkson punched his Top Gear producer, Oisin Tymon, during a row over the lack of a hot meal, the problems of managing talent have been centre stage.

Former BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning Jane Lush said that the fracas distilled some of the key questions that executives and programme-makers face: “How power­ful is talent, where do you draw the line on bad behaviour and is top talent really irreplaceable?”

Kim Shillinglaw: It’s bloody hard to make great television

Kim Shillinglaw

When Kim Shillinglaw became Controller of BBC Two last year, one of her predecessors took her for a drink. Roly Keating had launched BBC Four, moved on to BBC Two and filled in as temporary boss of BBC One. In a meeting room in New Broadcasting House, Shillinglaw recalls with terrible clarity what he told her.

“He said, ‘You will find BBC Two is the toughest. Let me tell you that now. BBC Four has a lot of individual commissions but not very much money, so there’s a limit to how many things it can commission.

Tony Hall: On a Rescue Mission

Tony Hall

For an insight into the day job of the BBC Director-General two years into his role, I pop into Tony Hall's plate-glass eyrie at New Broadcasting House. I arrive in the aftermath of one of the regular encyclicals that DGs dispense.

He's sung the praises of the BBC's place in a "thriving, free and competitive market", an alternative to what a colleague terms the "Joni Mitchell" school of heartstring-tugging about the Beeb's innate brilliance.

Profile: Ken MacQuarrie

Ken MacQuarrie

When Tony Hall needed someone to investigate Jeremy Clarkson's attack on his producer, he looked north and summoned Ken MacQuarrie, the calm and reserved Director of BBC Scotland.

 

As an experienced member of the Editorial Standards Committee, MacQuarrie was an obvious choice. His terse report sealed Clarkson's exit. What the Top Gear presenter made of the enigmatic Scot, his polar opposite, remains the stuff of speculation.