Comedian Stewart Lee has accused culture secretary John Whittingdale of putting profit margins ahead of creativity, taking aim at each of the "eight experts" he has assembled in turn.
In a column in The Guardian which has been widely shared and lauded on Twitter, Lee wrote of the rescue effort: "And what a golden shower of talent Whittingdale has stitched together, a veritable human centipede of business-minded entities, in order to safeguard the nation’s cultural heritage."
He took issue with the appointment of a former head of Channel 5 ("a bit like asking someone who draws ejaculating penises on the inside of public toilet cubicle doors to curate the National Gallery") and Andrew Fisher from Shazam ("a smartphone app which identifies unknown songs, and with which he has made the world a much duller place, bereft of mystery…perhaps Andrew can now develop an app that can identify what someone has had for dinner from the smell of their farts?") among others on the board.
Lee also questioned why more creatively-minded people who have worked with the BBC before such as himself, Armando Ianucci, Russel T Davies, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt weren't chosen or consulted.
"The sad truth is, the reason none of the above artists, writers and communicators are welcome on the culture secretary’s committee is because they see culture as inherently valuable in and of itself, not simply as a branch of business that is too naive to know how to maximise its profit margins," he wrote. "And there is no place for them in his process."
Last week, culture secretary Whittingdale described Strictly Come Dancing, now in its 13th series, as "admirable".Reuse content