Baftas 2016: Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky gives a blistering defence of the BBC to standing ovation

'There will [only be] a broadcasting landscape where the only determinate of whether something gets made is whether it’s likely to line the pockets of its shareholders.'

Christopher Hooton
Sunday 08 May 2016 21:08
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Peter Kosminsky gives passionate defence of BBC

Wolf Hall won Best Drama at the Bafta Television Awards tonight, and director Peter Kosminky used it as a platform to call for the safeguarding of the BBC's future.

He accused the Government of trying to "eviscerate" the broadcaster, along with Channel 4.

His sentiments were echoed by others at the ceremony including Ian Hislop, who was collecting Have I Got News For You's comedy award.

His speech in full:

"In the week in which our Secretary of State [for Culture] John Whittingdale described the disappearance of the BBC as a “tempting prospect”, I’d like to say a few words in defence of that organisation.

"I think most people would agree that the BBC’s main job is to speak truth to power. To report to the British public without fear or favour, no matter how unpalatable that might be to those in government. It’s a public broadcaster independent of government, it’s your BBC.

"In many ways, our broadcasting, the BBC and Channel 4, which they’re also attempting to eviscerate, is the envy of the world and we should stand up and fight for it, not let it go by default.

"And if we don’t, blink and it will be gone. There will be no more Wolf Halls, no more award-winning Dispatches documentaries on Channel 4, just a broadcasting landscape where the only determinate of whether something gets made is whether it’s likely to line the pockets of its shareholders.

"No, no, it’s time for us to stand up and say ‘no’ to this dangerous nonsense. Thank you very much."

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