Citizen Khan’s plea to protect BBC

Citizen Khan Team

A string of celebrities including Adil Ray have signed an open letter to David Cameron demanding BBC be saved from cuts…reports Asian Lite News

Citizen Khan Team
Citizen Khan Team

Among the various celebrities who have signed an open to the PM , Birmingham’s Citizen Khan star Adil Ray is among them to have signed demanding he protects the BBC from cuts.

James Bond actor Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, and veteran broadcaster David Attenborough were also included in the list of signatories, alongside author JK Rowling, comedian Miranda Hart and presenter Chris Evans, reports The Birmingham Mail.

The letter called on David Cameron to ensure the Government did not turn the BBC into a “narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster”.

It added: “A diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain.

“Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.” The letter described the BBC as “the envy of the world”.

Ray had tweeted “An important letter re the future of the BBC.

“Pleased to be signing it. “The BBC is what Britain does best.”

A government green paper is expected to call for a narrower range of programming and an examination of the future of the licence fee, says the Birmingham Mail report.

The BBC director-general Tony Hall criticised plans to reduce the corporation’s commercial activity as he unveiled moves to generate £1 billion from hit shows including Doctor Who and Top Gear.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the BBC’s annual report, he said the recent funding agreement in the run-up to the Budget was “not a good process” but was now settled.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has appointed an eight-person panel to work on the renewal of the BBC’s royal charter – which sets out the corporation’s remit – which runs out at the end of next year.

Mr Hall told reporters the charter debate was “shaping up to be a clash between two different views of the future”.

He said: “There is an alternative view that prefers a much-diminished BBC.

“It’s a view that is often put forward by people with their own narrow commercial interests or ideological preconceptions.”

But Mr Hall said audiences did not want “a significantly smaller BBC” and the public’s voice “will matter most in this debate”.

He set out what he described as “non-negotiable” aspects of the BBC, including universal funding – “Because we all pay, we all pay less” – and political independence.

He said: “I have real difficulty with the idea of artificial restrictions on creativity – after all, the last time politicians tried to be creative we ended up with the Millennium Dome.

“So it will be hard to support any proposal that stops us finding the next Strictly, the nextBake Off or – dare I say it – the next Top Gear.”

Mr Hall revealed a five-year plan to generate £1 billion from the corporation’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, to help offset new costs including the over-75s licence fees.

Downing Street confirmed it had received the celebrities’ letter.

David Cameron’s official spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister’s view is that the Charter review is an opportunity to strengthen the qualities of the BBC and we should let that process take its course,” adds the Birmingham Mail report.