Letter: The BBC's excesses

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The Independent Culture
Sir: By necessity, actors live in a fantasy world and the recent announcement from Lord Attenborough and his luvvies ("Stars band together to demand more BBC cash"; letter, 24 December) proves they are totally out of touch with reality.

We all treasure the days when British TV was the best in the world but those days are long gone.

In the digital debate the word "quality" rarely if ever appears. The emphasis is always on more channels, more choice. But choice of what - more of the same trash?

Lord Attenborough quotes fundamental goals of the BBC including "to nurture creativity and to promote public understanding and learning". In reality it is the opposite. There has been a steady erosion of standards. Moronic soaps, mindless game shows, endless fly-on-the-wall docu-soaps, banal cooking, DIY and gardening shows have become the staple diet.

The programme makers mistakenly believe that the public is happy to fund their excesses.

The cost of broadcast quality television equipment has plummeted to the point where virtually anyone with the right know-how can produce high quality material in a spare room at low cost. I know this because I make a living from it. So, if anything, the licence fee should be reduced.

Instead additional money is sought to fund digital expenditure, including the so-called 24 hour news service that spends most of the time promoting itself.

We are being fed with drivel and expected to pay heavily for the privilege. Even moving to a satellite provider does not allow you to evade the financial shackles of the BBC licence fee.


Lytchett Matravers,