Letter: Funding the BBC

Sir: Over the coming weeks, the Government will decide its response to the Davies Report on the funding of the BBC. It is a critical moment not just for the BBC, but for the future of broadcasting in this country.

We believe that the fundamental goals of the BBC - to nurture creativity of every kind, to promote public understanding and learning, to draw individuals and communities into the national debate - will be more not less important in the digital world. However, without the funding needed to meet the challenges of that new world, there is a real danger that these goals will no longer be met.

The Davies Report has recognised the strength and ambition of the BBC's vision for public service broadcasting in the digital age and has accepted the need for significantly greater funds.

A strong BBC, with far-sighted plans and an undiminished passion for excellence may not be to the taste of all its commercial rivals or every politician, but it is vital to the public interest. We urge Chris Smith and his colleagues in government to have the courage and conviction to secure this future.

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

ROWAN ATKINSON

ALAN BENNETT

BILLY CONNOLLY

JUDI DENCH

HELEN FIELDING

NIGEL HAWTHORNE

LENNY HENRY

JOHN MORTIMER

MICHAEL PALIN

SIMON RATTLE

SIMON SCHAMA

MEERA SYAL

ROBERT WINSTON

VICTORIA WOOD

BBC Television Centre

London W12

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