Belfast Telegraph

Wolf Hall director Kosminsky uses Baftas to savage Tories over BBC

By PA Reporters

Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky hit out at the Government at the Bafta TV Awards, saying it is trying to "eviscerate" the BBC, adding that he felt now "is a dangerous time for broadcasting in Britain".

Speaking as he accepted the best drama series award for the Hilary Mantel adaptation, he also warned that this would mean there would be no more productions like the Tudor drama.

He referred to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's reported plans to interfere with the scheduling of shows such as the BBC News and Strictly Come Dancing as similar to the "bastions of democracy Russia and North Korea".

He said: "In many ways our broadcasters, the BBC and Channel 4, which they're also attempting to eviscerate, are the envy of the world and we should stand up and fight for it.

"This is really scary stuff folks, not something I thought I'd see in my lifetime in this country. It is not their BBC, it's your BBC. There will be no more Wolf Hall, no more groundbreaking Dispatches."

Strictly Come Dancing beat the likes of Britain's Got Talent and Adele At The BBC to take home its first ever Bafta for best entertainment programme.

One of the show's co-hosts, Claudia Winkleman, joked that she "regretted the three tequilas" she had had, adding: "Huge thanks to the producers, the judges and our amazing dancers, we cannot believe it. We're going out for five days after this."

The comedy and comedy entertainment programme category was won by Have I Got News For You.

One of the show's team captains, Ian Hislop, also praised the BBC and its independence.

He said: "I'm reiterating the theme, I'd like to thank the BBC, who have allowed us to be rude about the Government... and indeed rude about the BBC itself, which is a privilege you are given with public service broadcasting and not on State television."

The Bafta Fellowship award went to comedy writing duo Alan Simpson and Ray Galton, best known for Steptoe And Son and Hancock's Half Hour.

Sherlock star Martin Freeman presented the Radio Times audience award to Poldark.

Sir Tom Courtenay accepted the award for best supporting actor as he begrudgingly accepted his title as a "veteran" of the industry.

Channel 4's First Dates was named the winner of the reality and constructed factual category.

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