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To: John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Love it or lose it: Save the BBC!

Love it or lose it: Save the BBC!

The shoddy backroom deal the Government have agreed with BBC management, saddling the BBC with delivering the government’s over-75s welfare policies to the tune of over £650m, will bring the greatest independent global broadcaster to its knees. Entire services will have to be cut, programmes dumped, free speech undermined and thousands of jobs lost. This is not a done deal - if you love the BBC, don’t let it be killed off!

Why is this important?

Whatever you may think of Eastenders, W1A or even Top Gear, set all that aside and act now to defend ‘our cultural NHS’. As members of BECTU – the media and entertainment union – we are asking you to join us and our fellow unions Equity, Musicians Union, NUJ, Unite and The Writers Guild in saving the BBC.

Can you imagine a world without the BBC?

The BBC makes a rich range of programmes with something for everyone, from award winning dramas & documentaries to sit–coms & soaps. The BBC is watched and listened to by 96% of the UK population. Two thirds of all UK adults listen to BBC Radio and half of all UK adults use BBC Online each week.

It’s good value as the BBC licence fee costs under 40p per day (£145.50 a year) for 9 TV channels, 10 national radio stations, a network of local radio stations and an internationally acclaimed website as well as the internationally loved World Service.

The top packages from Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk cost more than £1,000 a year. The BBC produces thousands of hours of original programming while Sky, on an income nearly double that of the BBC, makes only a tiny amount.

Only on the BBC can children watch their favourite programmes uninterrupted by advertising. The BBC is free from shareholder pressure and advertiser influence with a mandate to make programmes for all interest groups.

The licence fee is the single biggest investment in UK arts and creative industries with over half spent in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English Regions. Every £1 of licence fee spent by the BBC, generates £2 of economic activity.

BBC News is the largest broadcast news gathering operation in the world. The BBC is the public face of Britain abroad and has a weekly global audience of 308m.

The BBC is definitely not intended to be an arm of government – if this deal goes ahead starting in 2018, the BBC will be crippled by the costs of government policies and policed in the interests of more Tory-friendly broadcasters.

Senior BBC managers and the Government would like everyone to believe that this is a done deal and nothing can be reversed. This is not true. The most damaging part of this settlement is the need to meet the cost of free TV licences for the over-75s, which will cost the BBC over £650m. This decision, if unchallenged, will leave the BBC unrecognisable in less than 10 years time. Join the campaign now!

The whole world wishes they had the BBC – you have it, don’t let them kill it off!

This campaign was set up by BECTU - the media and entertainment union - with the support of Equity and other affected unions.

Reasons for signing

  • I just really love BBC
  • i love tracey beaker
  • I just think the BBC is so important to this country and losing it would be like losing a bit of myself so therefore this is why I have signed this LONG LIVE THE BBC


2016-03-10 16:52:38 +0000

The campaign to save the BBC is gathering pace as the Corporation's charter renewal draws closer. We're at nearly 25,000 signatures now, demonstrating just how vital the BBC is to our cultural life.

As the next step, the Federation of Entertainment Unions (Equity, Musicians Union, BECTU, NUJ, WGGB, PFA & Unite) are launching an Alternative White Paper for the future of the BBC, to highlight the disastrous impacts of proposed funding cuts to the BBC and the possible privatisation of programme supply.

The Alternative White Paper is aimed at the government, the BBC and opinion makers. It is a positive response to the debate on the future of the corporation and the UK's cultural industry.

Can you join us for the launch in Parliament on 15 March, or if you can't make it to London, please help by writing to your MP, asking them to come along?

Find out how to get involved at

2015-11-20 15:17:38 +0000

Just as Doctor Who celebrates its 52nd birthday, the public service that created it - the BBC - is being starved of funds. Join Doctor Who stars and fans this Monday 23 November to help defend the BBC in its most dramatic battle yet. If you're in London, come to Broadcasting House with unions and 5th Doctor Peter Davison. If you can't get there, there's plenty of ways to help the Doctor save the day online:

2015-09-12 14:46:10 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2015-07-17 22:44:33 +0100

There have been some big developments this week. We were shocked to find a backroom deal announced by the BBC management, that appears to be a shoddy cave-in to government demands. The worst part could cost the BBC a catastrophic £750m in meeting the costs of free licences for the over-75s.

The resulting shortfall will mean cutting entire services and much loved programmes. If unchallenged, it will leave the BBC unrecognisable in less than 10 years’ time.

BECTU's Helen Ryan has written a blog post with more detail on the deal, which you can read at:

BBC management have caved in to the government in agreeing this terrible deal. We should not. This week, celebrities like David Attenborough, Mark Rylance and Clare Balding have been taking a stand. And so should we – viewers, listeners and staff. If we work together, we can challenge service cuts that the BBC propose and lobby to reverse the punitive costs imposed in this deal.

2015-07-17 17:30:19 +0100

Celebrities sign up to back the BBC: We were delighted to see how many big names wrote to the Prime Minister this week supporting the BBC. The letter said: “The Government and the BBC are now entering the Charter Review. We are writing to place on record at the very start of the process our concern that nothing should be done to diminish the BBC or turn it into a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster. In our view, a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain. The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.” You can see the full text here:

2015-06-26 09:04:44 +0100

Over 10,000 signatures in just 3 days! Big thanks to everyone who has signed this already. Please do keep on pushing it out on Facebook & Twitter and by email - It might not seem much but it's really important. Every share is one more person told about the threat to the BBC, and helps build to stop it.

2015-06-25 08:34:55 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2015-06-23 05:13:04 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2015-06-22 14:13:37 +0100

Via the Going To Work website - Here are some of the reasons that freezing the BBC for a decade is such a bad idea!

2015-06-22 10:02:47 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2015-06-22 09:40:36 +0100

500 signatures reached

2015-06-22 09:28:53 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-06-17 21:32:45 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-06-17 06:27:18 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-06-16 17:33:38 +0100

10 signatures reached

2015-06-16 12:49:56 +0100

This will be a long campaign, and we'll need to keep up the pressure with rallies, lobbies and mobilizations and more. Email at if you want to keep in touch and take part.