Nearly 30 celebrities have called on U.K. politicians to help preserve one of the country's national treasures, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Daniel Craig, J.K. Rowling and Dame Judi Dench are among 29 celebrities who've signed an open letter to U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron, requesting him not to turn the BBC into "a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster."
Every 10 years, the BBC's Royal Charter – which sets out its public responsibilities and funding – is subject to being reviewed and potentially renegotiated with government of the day.
This time the BBC has to sit down and talk to the right-wing Conservatives, who have long been wary of the way the publicly-funded broadcaster is run. Ahead of the talks, rumors have circulated that the government is looking to limit is license fee funding and even the sort of TV programs it makes.
In the open letter, the entertainment figures, warned the government that "a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain."
"The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organizations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good."
"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," the letter said.
Stars who have grown famous - thanks to the BBC's programming lineup - also signed the letter, including sports broadcaster, Gary Lineker; comedian, Stephen Fry; and presenters, Graham Norton, Chris Evans and Sir David Attenborough.
A green paper setting out the government's standpoint on the corporation's future size and funding is set to be published this week.
Last week, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, said the government intended the bolster the BBC through the review process.
"The BBC does have many outstanding qualities, and it is the intention that, in the charter review process, we shall endeavour to strengthen them, not weaken them," he told the House of Commons.
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The celebrities' letter coincides with a statement made by Lord Tony Hall, BBC's Director-General, on the BBC's Annual Report and Accounts, this Tuesday.
Hall mentioned that the BBC's output over the last year was "on top creative form" and for its "great programmes and great services", people continue to enjoy, value and pay for the corporation's services.
In light of the government's proposed changes, Hall said the majority of viewers are happy to pay the current licence fee (£145.50 annually) and aren't asking for a "significantly smaller BBC."
"The great majority are happy to pay the current licence fee, or more – and we know when they experience life without the BBC the great majority of those who don't want to pay change their minds."
"The BBC does not belong to the Government. The BBC belongs to the country. The public are our shareholders. They pay for us. So it is their voice that will matter most in this debate."