Doctor Who star David Tennant has called on the British public to safeguard the BBC in the year it seeks to secure its funding from the Government.
The Broadchurch actor and former Time Lord has thrown his support behind a campaign by trade magazine Broadcast to to maintain the Corporation’s licence fee and preserve the BBC’s place at the heart of the UK’s creative industries.
Tennnat said: “We must not let familiarity allow us to forget how special it is. The politicians may have reasons why they would like to see the BBC reduced or dismantled, but the BBC is not for the politicians, it is for us. We must celebrate and protect the BBC for ourselves and for our children.”
Other big names from the TV world to have thrown their weight behind the campaign include Luther star Idris Elba, Wolf Hall actor Mark Rylance alongside actresses Julie Walters and Sheila Hancock. Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Gareth Malone have also lent their support.
Elba said: “The BBC continues to support established actors, writers, directors and all members of our profession, whilst investing in and growing the new talent that represents the future of our industry. The BBC needs to remain – and as it is.”
Walters added: “I support the BBC because it represents and serves all of us – young, old, from all communities, all walks of life and all corners of the UK without compromising on quality.”
Rylance’s testimonial said: “We have in the BBC a unique public service model that doesn’t just fill the gap left by private outlets, it is constantly changing and adapting and sets the standard for excellence.”
The campaign comes in a year when the BBC’s Royal Charter is up for renewal – a turning point which activists believe could see the government either freeze or reduce the fee, leading to more cuts in services.
Negotiations have already begun in earnest with the Government obliged to have a new ten-year funding settlement in place by the end of this year.