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Sunday, 2 August 2015

BBC Lobbying MPs With TV Licence Sweeteners

The BBC has just released the full text of a letter it sent to MPs earlier this month.

The letter, from the BBC's Head of Corporate Affairs, Andrew Scadding, was first reported by Guido Fawkes' Order-Order blog

It was released in response to a Freedom of Information request by WhatDoTheyKnow.com user Mr A. Willmore. The letter was distributed alongside a DVD of BBC content, at a total cost of £2,238.

We somehow doubt the timing of this sanctimonious BBC freebie is coincidental, with negotiation's currently on the table for the renewal of the Corporation's Royal Charter and future of the TV licence fee.

The text of the letter read as follows:
Dear [Name],

With the summer here, we thought you might enjoy the chance to watch some recently broadcast programmes which you may have missed.

I hope you enjoy the programmes I have selected for you from a number of genres – the wonderful, touching and uplifting drama Marvellous; new for this generation, but also bringing back many happy memories for those of us of a certain age, we have the first episode of the new series of Clangers; and an insightful profile of the career of renowned architect Frank Gehry from our Imagine strand.

It's worth remembering that every week 97% of the population uses a BBC service and audience appreciation of BBC programmes is high. Earlier this year, BBC Two’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall became the channel's biggest new drama series in a decade; and BBC One recorded its highest ratings share in a decade with returning drama series Last Tango In Halifax, Silent Witness and Death In Paradise all having their most successful series to date.

BBC Television has enjoyed an exemplary year so far with a range of distinctive programming including Poldark, The C Word, Shark co-produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit, Inside The Commons - as part of our extensive Magna Carta commemorations, BBC Scotland's Stonemouth, CBBC’s Horrible Histories, and coverage of the Women’s Football World Cup.

Over the next few months you can expect a range of new, original and distinctive programmes across BBC Television. We have Big Blue Live which is an ambitious television first that will take viewers on an extraordinary journey with one of the biggest wildlife gatherings in the oceans; drama To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters is an original perspective on the Bronte sisters by multi-award-winning writer Sally Wainwright; coverage of the Edinburgh Festival; 20-part drama series Dickensian which brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens' critically acclaimed novels; and we have a celebration of Shakespeare planned for 2016 to introduce a new generation of viewers to Shakespeare’s work, 400 years after his death.

Anyway, I hope you get the chance to watch at least some of the enclosed DVD.

Have a good summer.

Best Wishes

Andrew Scadding
Head of Corporate Affairs
New Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA
A fortnight ago the BBC's Director of Television, Danny Cohen, stepped into the firing line when it emerged that he had recruited more than two-dozen high profile figures to endorse a pro-BBC letter to the Prime Minister.

A BBC spokesman said: "MP’s are amongst those making decisions about the future of the BBC and it's right that they are fully informed and up to date on the BBC's services and programmes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

15.4 ish licence fees well spent. Looks like the BBC really understands how much the general public enjoy seeing our MPs get freebies.