Sue Perkins had a "feisty” confrontation with culture secretary John Whittingdale after a few glasses of wine, taking him to task over the government's plans to cut BBC funding by 20%.
Perkins told The Guardian about her “lovely exchange” with Whittingdale at The Guardian Edinburgh international television festival, where she was sat opposite him at a dinner table.
“I took it as my opportunity, albeit after one or two glasses of wine, to engage with him about the government and the BBC. We had a lively exchange during which many views were contested and I said my piece. It was a very well intentioned but pretty fiery exchange," she explained.
“I said 'you will take my points on board otherwise I will kiss you into an horrific submission' and with that he shut up sharpish.”
Perkins added that the exchange went on for so long that by the time they’d finished “we looked up to find everyone else had cleared their plates.”
The Great British Bake Off host said she took issue with Whittingdale because she felt the government was acting as if it owned the BBC when it is actually owned by those members of the general public who pay a license fee, effectively making them stakeholders. She reiterated that she spoke to him not as a BBC employee, but as a stakeholder who wanted the best for everyone.
Whittingdale said he had enjoyed his debate with Perkins because he was interested in clearing up misconceptions about what his review will actually involve.
“We had a very enjoyable debate and I hope it’s one we can continue," he said cheerfully.
Perkins echoed his sentiment, saying the next time will be just as heated.
"We will have another exchange. There may be alcohol,” she warned.Reuse content