ITV, a TV company in terminal decline, is dropping its only remaining approximation to a high-brow show. Germaine Greer has a nice piece about it in the Guardian, in which she says:
The South Bank Show archive will be essential viewing for anyone aiming to give an account of the cultural cross-currents of the late 20th century — essential if hardly sufficient. Its successors are the current generation of arts magazine shows, grabs at important subjects, presented by celebrities, shot upsoide down and backwards, with competing soundtracks, arts journalism as art itself, processed for a public with a three-minute attention span.
The miracle, I suppose, is not that the SBS has finally been axed, but that it survived for so long in the cultural desert of contemporary British commercial television.