Sunday 25 September 2016

Ex-Doctor Who boss warns the BBC as we know it is doomed

Published 25/09/2015 | 18:40

Russell T Davies has delivered a stark warning on the future of the BBC
Russell T Davies has delivered a stark warning on the future of the BBC

Former Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies has warned the BBC is doomed to be exterminated.

  • Go To

"My take on it is that we've lost. The problem is that this isn't the fight for the BBC," the 52-year-old screenwriter told an audience at the Radio Times Festival at Hampton Court.

"People keep on saying, 'Oh I'd fight to death for the BBC.' There isn't a fight. You can submit some opinions to the green paper.

"In 10 years' time, everything we understand the BBC to be, will be gone."

The writer, who revived and ran the BBC series Doctor Who from 2005 until 2010, added: "What the Government wants, and what is going to happen - because I honestly think this battle has been lost - is we're heading towards some sort of subscriber service."

He branded the threat to the broadcaster "a disgrace".

Davies, whose other series include Queer As Folk and Cucumber, also addressed the revelation that the Government has been considering privatising Channel 4 - currently a publicly-owned, commercially-funded trust.

"The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said in Edinburgh, I'm not looking at privatising Channel 4," he said.

"And now it turns out, of course, and we know this - yes they are looking at privatising Channel 4 and the plans have been there for a long time."

Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky revealed he had "a row" with the Culture Secretary on Thursday after meeting him to discuss the future of the BBC.

"I'm as concerned as I can be about what the Government is proposing," he said. "I went to see the Secretary of State John Whittingdale yesterday at 11 o'clock and I came away more concerned ... we had a bit of a row, to be honest with you."

The two rowed over whether the BBC licence fee was a tax or not, with Mr Whittingdale declaring that it was, Kosminsky explained to an audience at the Radio Times Festival.

Kosminsky, 59, directed the 2015 BBC drama but has otherwise not worked for the BBC in over a decade. However, he called the proposals "akin to cultural vandalism," asking: "How dare they try to destroy our BBC?"

He said the Government's assault was "ideological" - as well as "payback" by the Conservatives for the way the political debates had been handled during the general election campaign.

Speaking about shooting the six-part adaptation of the best-selling Hilary Mantel novel, which starred Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Claire Foy, Kosminsky revealed the challenges of filming on location in medieval and Tudor houses.

"We shot some of the scenes at Penshurst Place, which has the advantage for us of being the place where Henry and Anne courted," he said.

"We dressed it pretty much as it was, lit it pretty much as it was ... I think it had a real power to it. But the price was that every 20 minutes, a tour party would go through. You think I'm joking? I'm not.

"Every 20 minutes somebody would blow a whistle. We became waxworks, we became very still, and 60 people would go through with somebody with a little torch going: 'Walk this way!'

"We could be literally in the middle of quite an emotional scene."

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section