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BBC licence fee cuts would cost economy 32,000 jobs, warns Tony Hall

Published 26/08/2015

BBC director general Tony Hall said there was a strong TV industry in the UK
BBC director general Tony Hall said there was a strong TV industry in the UK

Cutting the BBC's funding could cost the economy 32,000 jobs, the corporation's director general has warned.

Tony Hall said that a 25% reduction to the licence fee would hit independent TV producers, suppliers and studios across the country.

And he claimed that a "significant chunk" of money spent on creating hit British shows like Happy Valley, Luther, Poldark, Sherlock and Broadchurch would be lost.

It comes ahead of a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, who has said a review of the BBC's royal charter will consider whether it should be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, Mr Hall said: "As American companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple make programmes of their own, we need to think about what makes British telly special.

"We're fortunate to have one of the most creative TV industries in the world, because we have advertising funding ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, subscription for Sky and the licence fee supporting the BBC. Let's not sacrifice that.

"A strong BBC will help deliver a strong Britain. Let's make the most of one of Britain's greatest exports and make it even greater in the years ahead."

Mr Hall added that the BBC works because everyone gets something for their licence with the likes of the Great British Bake Off, Match of the Day, EastEnders, Wolf Hall, Life on Earth or Top Gear.

He also argued that the broadcaster had been a breeding ground for top creative talent such as director Tom Hooper, who started out on EastEnders and went on to direct Oscar-winning film The King's Speech.

Earlier this week the BBC's director of television, Danny Cohen, defended that the broadcaster should retain "crown jewel" sporting events.

Mr Cohen said that the public would not want "UK-unifying" events such as the Olympics, Wimbledon, the football World Cup and the FA Cup final to be taken off free-to-air.

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