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Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong

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THE Scottish writer and producer behind two of the BBC's biggest shows, Sherlock and Doctor Who, has criticised the UK Government's plan for the corporation.

Steven Moffat said the recent Green Paper on the future of the BBC, which is now open to public consultation, was "wretched" and "wrong".

Moffat, 53, originally from Paisley and the key figure behind the resurgence of Doctor Who and the updated version of the tales of Sherlock Holmes, said the corporation was a "beacon of quality".

He said: "If we allow, basically, the Tories to turn off the people who are criticising them, which is what is happening, I can't see how we'd get it back."

Last week Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said the review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

The Green Paper has prompted speculation the BBC may be told to cut back on popular programming that competes with shows avail-able on commercial broadcasters or to reduce its online presence.

The paper also questions whether Gaelic broadcasting is value for money, as well as throwing into question the future of the Pounds 145.50 annual licence fee.

The BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body, has announced it will ask audiences for their views on the BBC.

It said the broadcaster was built on a broad mission, including news coverage and entertainment.

It also said the current 10-year charter could be extended by another year, adding: "We suggest including a legal obligation in the next charter for Government to consult publicly with the BBC's regulator as part of any funding negotiations, and to seek parliamentary approval for any change to the BBC's funding."

Moffat is one of a series of well-known names to defend the BBC since the launch of the government's review of its services, remit and funding.

Comedian and TV presenter Michael Palin said the BBC, which was "enormously admired around the world", should not be allowed to be "chipped away".

"My worry is that the BBC will be reduced," said the ex-Monty Python star. "Bits of it will be hived off and it will no longer be something that represents everyone who pays their licence fee.

"It is enormously admired and respected around the world and is a great ambassador for Britain."

JK Rowling, Daniel Craig and Judi Dench have also signed a letter calling on the Government not to "diminish" the BBC .

David Attenborough, the veteran natural world producer and presenter, has also defended the corporation. He said: "The BBC has to defend itself and quite properly. Like any institution, if you want to have your supporters' voice heard, you go about helping that to happen."

The BBC's handling of some political issues was recently criticised in the annual review by the Audience Council for Scotland.

The council said some network programmes had appeared to adopt what was described as an "Anglified perspective" during the Scottish independence debate and focused too much on the official campaigns "at the expense of the wider civic and community engagement".

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  • APA 6th ed.: Miller, Phil (2015-07-24). Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong. The Herald .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Miller, Phil. "Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong." The Herald [add city] 2015-07-24. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Miller, Phil. "Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong." The Herald, edition, sec., 2015-07-24
  • Turabian: Miller, Phil. "Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong." The Herald, 2015-07-24, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_writer:_Plan_to_reform_BBC_is_wretched_and_wrong | work=The Herald | pages= | date=2015-07-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who writer: Plan to reform BBC is wretched and wrong | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_writer:_Plan_to_reform_BBC_is_wretched_and_wrong | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2019}}</ref>