Who loves the BBC
Doctor Who fans are being called to show their backing for a BBC under attack as the show celebrates its 52nd birthday.
The hour-long lunchtime protest and celebration of all things Doctor Who, will take place on Monday 23 November outside BBC Broadcasting House in London. Guest speakers include actors Peter Davison (the fifth Doctor), Sophie Aldred (sidekick Ace), Bertie Carvel (The Lazarus Experiment) and Chris Jury (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy).
The event comes as the BBC faces the biggest challenge of its history. The Corporation faces a new Charter Renewal period with the government hell-bent on making the BBC bear the cost of free licences for the over-75s. This £650m additional cost (currently met from the government’s welfare budget) amounts to a 20% cut in funding and follows five years of standstill income due to a freeze in the licence fee effectively imposed by chancellor George Osborne in 2010.
The BBC recently announced more cuts to services including the end of the Red Button and a further retreat from competing for sports rights in a bid to plug a £100m shortfall in income. The looming question is where will the axe fall next?
The BBC is a standard bearer for quality broadcasting across news and entertainment; 96% of the UK population enjoys its output every single week at a cost of just 40p a day. The appreciation for the BBC worldwide is vast. And yet the government wants to starve the Corporation of public funding to benefit commercial rivals.
The event is part of the Federation of Entertainment Unions’ BBC Love It Or Lose It campaign. Sofie Mason, national officer of media and entertainment union BECTU, said: “We’re inviting Dr Who fans, and supporters of the BBC, to join us to celebrate the show’s 52nd birthday and to demonstrate to policy makers just how much we value to the BBC. Come in costume if you like!”
Show your support:
- Join in the protest on Monday 23 November at Broadcasting House, Langham Place, London W1A 1AA. Gather at 12.15 for a 12.30 start.
- If you can’t attend, post a picture and register your support online. There is a campaign page on Facebook and we’ll be using hashtag #drwho52 on Twitter.
- Sign the BECTU Going To Work petition to save the BBC.