Steven Moffat defends the BBC: “If we allow the Tories to turn it off, I can’t see how we’d get it back”

"If we limit, damage or destroy the BBC, we have absolutely no idea how to turn it back on," said the Sherlock and Doctor Who writer

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Steven Moffat is the latest high profile figure to come out in defence of the BBC. The Sherlock co-creator and Doctor Who showrunner has described the Corporation as a “beacon” of broadcasting, and criticised the Conservative government’s “all wretched, all wrong” proposals for change.

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“If we limit it, or damage it, or destroy it, we have absolutely no idea how to turn it back on, because we don’t know how it happened in the first place,” he told The Stage

“You could look at [the BBC’s] philosophy, you could look at the fact that somehow from the work of those early pioneers it became a beacon of quality – not just for Britain, but for the entire world. If we allow, basically, the Tories to turn off the people that are criticising them, which is what is happening, I can’t see how we’d get it back.”

He continued: “The inevitable, pathetic argument against this is that we’re all feathering our own nests because we’re all employed by the BBC, but they don’t pay that well.

“I could have made more money if I’d stayed with my Spielberg three-picture deal, and not done Doctor Who. And I assure you that if Satan rose from hell and killed the BBC, I could still find work.”

Moffat joins a number of big names in backing the BBC after the government published its green paper calling for a fundamental review of the size of the Corporation, what it does, the way it’s funded and its remit.

In a statement, the Beeb said the document would “appear to herald a much diminished, less popular BBC”. It’s been supported by the likes of David Attenborough, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, JK Rowling and Cerys Matthews – the singer and 6 Music presenter who told the House of Lords earlier this week that without the BBC we would have a more unequal, ignorant – and fatter – society.

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Steven Moffat is talking Doctor Who alongside Peter Capaldi at this year’s Radio Times Festival running from 24-27 September. Tickets are available here.

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