Viewers would like to see 'more innovation' in BBC programming, according to a report from the BBC Trust.

In the Trust's annual report and accounts for 2006/07 a viewer survey found that innovation was important to 72 per cent of audiences, but only 51 per cent agreed that the BBC was performing well in this area.

Furthermore, the public ranks education and news as its top priorities for the BBC, with entertainment programmes in third place.

Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC, said: "The BBC's unique system of funding provides the necessary security for creative risk-taking that few other broadcasters can afford.

"Essential to the BBC's success are the desire to be distinctive, bold ambition for trying new things, respect always for the public's money, and confidence among the creative teams."

In relation to the broadcaster's account, the Trust noted that the BBC has become more "efficient", particularly when considering the £228 million in saving achieved in the last two years.

A further target of £127 million in savings for the next financial year has been set as the BBC seeks to lower its overheads.

Mark Thompson, BBC director general, described the past year as "momentous" in terms of securing the corporation's future and providing "real value to audiences".

He said: "Saturday nights on BBC One were completely revitalised thanks to Dr Who, Strictly Come Dancing and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria.

"Drama had a real injection of energy, Planet Earth continued to inspire awe and factual content captured broad new audiences through programmes like Springwatch, The Apprentice and Dragon's Den."

Mr Thompson added that there were "bumps along the way", such as mistakes with phones lines that "went to the heart of our contract of trust with audiences".

BBC1 and BBC2's reach dropped based upon year-on-year figures. BBC1 was picked up in 78.4 per cent of all homes, down from 79.7 per cent.

However, four out of five people in the UK still watch BBC1 while BBC2's reach slipped from 59.1 per cent to 57 per cent.

03/07/2007 12:31:40