The Doctor Defends the BBC

October 6, 2015

In an interview with Larry King, the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi has waded into the discussion with other TV personalities to defend the BBC. Alongside Armando IannucciMark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, Capaldi has supported the BBC and its work, but fears that the whole organisation is under threat.

‘With the new government we have, the organisation that makes our show, the BBC, which is one of the great organisations of the world, the most special, special organisation…I think it’s seriously under threat.’

When asked why he thought it was at risk, Peter answer: I think the government doesn’t think that the BBC supports it. [The BBC] is not answerable to shareholders and it entertains ideas – all kinds of ideas about Britain and about history and about the world and about art. I think the government don’t want to pay for it.’

The concern raised over the BBC’s future is certainly a contentious one with the process for the renewal of its Royal Charter just around the corner. However, the enthusiasm and the love of the corporation and its output, as shown by those who are a part of and its loyal viewers, demonstrates the importance of the BBC.

Peter concluded this part of the interview by stating that:

“The BBC represents the spirit of our country. It is so important that people don’t let this magnificent thing vanish.”

What are your thoughts on Peter’s impassioned plea? Do you think the BBC is at that great a risk?


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9 comments on “The Doctor Defends the BBC

  1. If it ‘supported’ any current administration it would be seen as propoganda, if it supported any current opposition it would be seen as revolution-mongering. So it has to be independent – and that is what people seem to fear is under threat. It must be financially accountable to US the licence payers, not whichever political ideology happens to be in power.

    • Simon Spencer Oct 6, 2015

      I think it stems from the fact the government has always wanted to seize control of the BBC since its early years given it’s independent views towards military, political and corporate aspects, but has never been able to because the climate wasn’t good to do so.

      It doesn’t stop the government, however, from almost putting it out of business so they can purchase it outright when it runs out of money, which will be a great tragedy if it goes in that direction.

  2. Claws-on Oct 6, 2015

    Yes, it’s at risk from the current administration who are ideologically opposed to state or publicly funded institutions. This is already evident from the leaked document which proposed the privatization of Channel Four. The BBC does need protecting from short-sighted, neo-liberalism. When it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

    • Mark North Oct 6, 2015

      As someone who lives in the US,( and who loves BBC broadcasting), the BBC is regarded in the States as being a level above US programing. That being said, I doubt if viewers in the US, if given the chance, would choose the license fee, instead of advertising. The advertising method is too ingrained in the United States to change. I think the Tories know that there’s no way the British people would allow the BBC to be totally done away with. However, I do fear the Conservatives may succeed in cutting the BBC’s budget somewhat…

      • Planet of the Deaf Oct 6, 2015

        The main US networks may be rubbish, but a lot of very good shows come out of the US via HBO, Netflix etc so it’s not as if the BBC model (which I support incidentally) is the ONLY way to produce quality programmes.

  3. Planet of the Deaf Oct 6, 2015

    I think there’s a certain amount of exaggeration going on on both sides at the moment.

    The government aren’t stupid, they know that despite what areas of the Tory press say, lots of THEIR OWN voters enjoy BBC programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly, Bake Off, Wimbledon, Radio 1-6 etc and would be upset if they lost them.

  4. Agree with Capaldi and applaud him for saying what he did. The BBC is being undermined by the current govt and given enough time they will destroy what makes it great, by stealth, as they know the public generally admire the BBC. They are not stupid enough to just get rid of it in one swoop, like in other cases they will starve it of cash and resources until it appears unsustainable. It’s an ideologically driven dislike of something publically funded being a success, and it being independent of big money sponsors calling the tune, makes it hard to politically control. The BBC has produced some fantastic tv over the decades and is respected around the world. Just leave it alone.

  5. Patrick D. Anderson Oct 7, 2015

    As an American, I came to know Doctor Who only through our cousin network, PBS, which brought so much to us as kids through shows like Sesame Street and many other great educational shows. Even to this day, the partnership between the BBC and PBS continues to bring great British television (and even Doctor Who) to American television. I grew to love British television as a child and continue my love to this day because the BBC exists. Exposure to British culture made me realize that there was a much bigger and far more interesting world out there beyond what was taught to me in American public schools. I sincerely hope that the BBC does not go away, because my world view would have been much narrower without it.

  6. Nigel Webb Oct 7, 2015

    Murdoch will probably get his way. 🙁

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