Sir: I am sorry that Watkins fi/s has to depend on visits from his father before he can watch the rugby (Diary, 25 April) but I cannot accept that it is due to the deterio- rating standards of BBC World Service Television.
Istanbul Watkins watches a completely different service from the one which John Simpson referred to so generously the week before. John was talking about our 24-hour News and Information Service for the whole of Asia, the backbone of BBC World Service Television's global development. In Europe the company runs an entertainment channel, not much different from that which can be seen at home — although rather lighter on sport than we'd like because the BBC no longer owns the for- eign rights to many events.
I think Alan Watkins is being unneces- sarily sour when he describes our European Channel as 'a service for backward 12-year olds'. We're aiming rather higher than that — though clearly we've not yet captured the disenchanted middle-aged.
Director of Programming, BBC World Service Television, 80 Wood Lane, London W12