asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the study of the wider use of television as a means of bringing the subsidised arts to a wider audience was begun; and what progress has been made in this direction.
The problem of making best use of television to bring the arts before a wide audience has been under consideration for many years. The Arts Council has taken the lead in discussion and co-ordination with the television authorities, and considered in March 1973 a report by a Working Party on Televising the Arts. There have recently been a number of televised performances from the Royal Opera House, including a production of "Un Ballo in Maschera" on 29th March; and performances by the Royal Ballet, the National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company have also been televised. I am anxious that further progress should be made in ensuring that such performances are seen by the widest possible audiences.