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Government announces £85m extra funding for BBC World Service

The Government has announced £85 million extra funding for the BBC World Service to help "uphold global democracy".

It will be used to increase content in North Korea, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, as part of a target to reach a global audience of half a billion people.

Lord Hall, director general of the broadcaster, described the "single biggest increase" as "fantastic".

"The millions announced today will help the BBC deliver on our commitment to uphold global democracy through accurate, impartial and independent news reporting," he said.

"The World Service is one of the UK's most important cultural exports and one of our best sources of global influence."

There will be expanded services for Africa, new radio services for audiences in North Korea and radio and digital services for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The BBC will also expand TV, radio and digital offerings in Somalia, India, Nigeria and Thailand.

It will also help boost digital and TV services for Russian speakers, in Russia and surrounding communities.

The money was announced as part of the Government's National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review.

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