Letter: Debate about BBC must be continued

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article today ('Excellence in all fields') will be welcomed by everybody concerned about the BBC's future. You very properly and accurately signal the dangers of elitist television, and warn against the American public broadcasting system. Remember, too, that much of PBS is UK programming, a high proportion from the BBC. Virtually nothing is produced at home, investments in and purchases of material made elsewhere fill the schedules. So in one fell swoop, two international networks - one celebrating the best in the world, the other making it - could be endangered. Madness]

Michael Grade's timely move to open up a debate among professionals and public must be embraced immediately. Many programme-makers, such as myself, working across the industry have much to thank the BBC for; we were the recipients of a unique apprenticeship. Times change and adaptability is vital - we were saying that at Television Centre in 1972; it's nothing new. Just remember the baby and the bathwater] I shall ensure that this issue is raised and becomes a continual agenda item at the next meeting of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Council.

Yours faithfully,


Chief Executive

Blue Heaven Productions

London, SW4

31 August

The writer was chairman of Bafta from 1985 to 1987.