Armando Iannucci and Nish Kumar are among the celebrities to speak out against government plans to abolish the BBC licence fee in 2027.
On Sunday (16 January), the Conservative party announced that they would scrap the licence fee at the next opportunity if they are still in government, with culture secretary Nadine Dorries introducing a two-year freeze that she said would “be the last”.
Instead, the UK should “discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling” television programmes, Dorries argued.
Leading responses to the news was Nish Kumar, whose political comedy series The Mash Report was pulled by the BBC last year as the channel attempted to get rid of shows perceived to have a “left-wing bias”.
“This government is a pack of p***ed up cultural vandals,” Kumar tweeted. “I know that it feels like absolutely everyone hates the BBC right now, and there are good reasons for that, but ending the licence fee is bad news.”
His former Mash Report co-star Rachel Parris wrote: “F***. Just a reminder that the BBC licence fee doesn’t just pay for Strictly. C-Beebies, GCSE Bitesize, The Proms, Radio 6 music, Popmaster, Attenborough, and the World Service as well as ‘the news where you are’…”
The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci also shared his own anger, writing: “If you really think your Government can win back the public by tossing out a panicky weekend threat to the BBC, then you under-estimate the level of support, admiration and respect the public has for it.”
In a second tweet aimed at Dorries, he continued: “First you come for @channel4 because you don’t like its reporting of events. Now you come for the BBC because you don’t like its reporting of events. Have you ever considered whether it’s the events themselves that are the problem?”
“For those kicking the BBC right now... you will miss it when its gone……” added Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.
Gary Lineker wrote: “The BBC is revered, respected and envied around the world. It should be the most treasured of National treasures. Something true patriots of our country should be proud of. It should never be a voice for those in government whoever is in power.”
“This is a catastrophic announcement,” tweeted Fresh Meat star Greg McHugh. “Please can we get #TheTories out before GB news becomes a mainstream broadcaster.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies