BBC director of television Danny Cohen has called for the corporation to be spared from further cuts, claiming it would be “crazy to damage, undermine or deflate” the broadcaster.
Speaking at an event yesterday to unveil BBC Television’s Christmas schedule, Cohen described the BBC as “one of the most important institutions in the United Kingdom” and highlighted the range of quality programming it had produced this year.
“The BBC will need to keep reforming itself and proving it provides value for money. In the last few days we have outlined the hundreds of millions of annual savings we have already achieved. But our choice in the end is between protecting, cherishing and enabling a great British institution or seeking to diminish it,” said Cohen.
Discussing “the very future of the BBC,” Cohen said that the corporation’s output is not only enjoyed by 97% of the UK population each month, but is also at the heart of the thriving UK creative community.
“A smaller BBC is – quite simply and incontrovertibly – a smaller UK creative industries. That’s not in anyone’s interests and it’s something we should do everything to avoid,” said Cohen.
“The BBC is a great British company, not a government department. We need it to flourish and continue to be the spark that lights a thousand creative fires.”
“I make a direct and open plea to you tonight. It is sincerely meant and acknowledges that the BBC doesn’t get everything right, that it makes mistakes, that it is imperfect. But despite these imperfections I ask you to stand by the BBC in the year ahead – support it, make the case for it, speak up for it, celebrate its achievements and help us make sure we can keep offering such an extraordinary range of programmes for all audiences.”