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Thursday, 16 July 2015

BBC Boss Cohen Orchestrated Celebrity Letter of Support

J. K. Rowling, Dame Judi Dench and Sir David Attenborough are just three of the big-name stars adding their signatures to a letter in support of the BBC that landed on the Prime Minister's doormat earlier this week.

More than two dozen high-profile figures described the BBC as a "very precious institution" and claimed that "a diminished BBC would mean a diminished Britain".

The letter continued: "Britain’s creative economy is growing and enjoying unprecedented success. The BBC is at the heart of this as the global showcase for our creative industries. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad."

It was truly toe-curling stuff. The letter was written with such nauseating, glutinous praise that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was penned by the BBC itself.

Skip forward a few days and it now transpires that it probably was.

According to reports in today's newspapers the BBC Director of Television, Danny Cohen, was the "brains" behind the letter. The story goes that Cohen was assisted by several BBC executives who, in an act of arse-saving desperation, actively touted for celebrity endorsement.

Monty Python star Michael Palin let the cat out of the bag when he appeared live on the BBC News Channel's Victoria Derbyshire show this morning: "Danny Cohen rang me up. I have met Danny on various occasions. He knows I'm a supporter of the BBC, he knows I've done some good work and he appreciates the work I have done and knows I appreciate the work that others have done.

"So he just asked me: 'Would you sign? The Charter is coming up and we are a bit worried the BBC will become smaller and less significant'

"I don’t think it is a good idea that it should be smaller and chipped away so I said yes".

The BBC refused to confirm whether it wrote or sanctioned the letter, but there doesn't seem much doubt about its involvement.

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