Independent Television Commission says network's factual output cause for concern

ITV came under further fire from the Independent Television Commission (ITC) this week when the UK regulator slammed its factual, arts, entertainment and comedy output, writes Colin Roberstson.

In its delayed Annual Performance Review for 1999 the ITC said ITV's factual output sometimes left viewers feeling 'short changed,' adding that it felt a general lack of 'documentaries in the best traditions of ITV, was a cause for concern. The ITC also said leading current affairs show Tonight with Trevor McDonald had 'some way to go' before it could be viewed as a 'truly flagship series.'

The Network was also criticised for relying on 'caught on camera' programme formulae which were 'known to be crowd pleasers but offering little either new or challenging.'

The report also said that some of the shows ITV was claiming as part of its arts stable were 'questionable'.

The regulator acknowledged ITV efforts to find more comedy and entertainment output but concluded that without Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 'the year would have been thin.'