Belfast Telegraph

Sue Perkins threatens to 'kiss' Culture Secretary into submission over BBC cuts

Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins threatened to "kiss" Culture Secretary John Whittingdale "into an horrific submission" during a row over cuts to the BBC.

The presenter took the Conservative MP to task over his review of the corporation during a dinner at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on Wednesday.

She said she was talking as a "stakeholder" rather than as an employee, while Mr Whittingdale said he had found the debate "enjoyable".

Perkins told the Guardian: "I went to this dinner and John was opposite and I took it as my opportunity, albeit after one or two glasses of wine, to engage with him about the Government and the BBC. We had a lively exchange during which many views were contested and I said my piece. It was a very well intentioned but pretty fiery exchange.

"I said you will take my points on board otherwise I will kiss you into an horrific submission and with that he shut up sharpish."

Mr Whittingdale added: "She's a feisty lady, I enjoyed talking to her. Unfortunately we were cut short, I hope there will be another opportunity for it to continue."

Debate over the BBC's future has raged since Mr Whittingdale said t hat a review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

At the festival this week he denied the Government wants to "dismantle" the BBC and stressed there should be no political interference in the programmes the corporation shows.

Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci used his speech in Edinburgh to warn that tampering with the BBC would be "madness", and that politicians - with no expertise in the area - have got the British television industry "completely wrong".


From Belfast Telegraph