Read the Open Letter Penned by JK Rowling, Daniel Craig and More to Save the BBC

"A diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain."

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

A number of UK celebrities have penned an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, warning him against his plans to reform the BBC.

New plans believed to be put in place by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale tomorrow include replacing the license fee with a new household tax, along with partially privatising production facilities and ousting several shows from the broadcaster’s schedule.

Also See: London Police Breach Privacy By Posting Security Footage of Michael McIntyre

The Conservative government has already laid out plans to provide free licenses to over-75s, which will cost the BBC £650 million when put into practice. It was proposed that this loss could be subsided by introducing a new monthly payment scheme for the BBC iPlayer streamer service, though this proposal was met with a wave of criticism.

DavidAttenborough

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, James Bond actor Daniel Craig and documentary maker/naturalist David Attenborough are among those who have signed the letter, which you can read in full below:

The Prime Minister David Cameron

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister,

We have seen that the Government has pledged to modernise the licence fee, return funding that had been diverted to pay for broadband roll-out, and increase the licence fee in line with inflation in return for the BBC taking on the costs of Licence Fees for the over 75’s.

The Government and the BBC are now entering the Charter Review. We are writing to place on record at the very start of the process our concern that nothing should be done to diminish the BBC or turn it into a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster.

In our view, a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain.

The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.

Britain’s creative economy is growing and enjoying unprecedented success. The BBC is at the heart of this as the global showcase for our creative industries. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad.

During the course of the Charter, we will continue to make the case for a strong BBC at the centre of British life and will be vocal in making the case for the BBC as it approaches its centenary.

Yours Sincerely

  • Clara Amfo
  • David Attenborough
  • Clare Balding
  • Melvyn Bragg
  • Brian Cox
  • Daniel Craig
  • Richard Curtis
  • Judi Dench
  • Chris Evans
  • Stephen Fry
  • Nick Grimshaw
  • Miranda Hart
  • Lenny Henry
  • Gary Lineker
  • Michael McIntyre
  • Steven Moffatt
  • Trevor Nelson
  • Annie Nightingale
  • Graham Norton
  • Jamie Oliver
  • Michael Palin
  • Adil Ray
  • JK Rowling
  • Mark Rylance
  • Simon Schama
  • David Walliams
  • Rachel Weisz
  • Claudia Winkleman
  • Reggie Yates

The government have been accused of attempting to control and dismantle the BBC with its new plans, with them set to investigate whether its news is impartial (a.k.a. anti-Conservative) and also question the validity of commercial shows such as The Voice and Strictly Come Dancing. It is the government’s belief that the BBC is breaching its charter principles by attempting to go after a wider audience with, and that it is dismissing its responsibility as a public service.

It remains to be seen whether or not the BBC will receive the major overhaul the government clearly has in mind for it, but whatever happens it seems that some big changes are in store for the broadcaster’s future.

[Via the Telegraph]

Photos: Getty Images