The Wolf Hall director isn’t holding back in his criticisms of the Conservative UK government’s plans to reduce funding for the BBC. Speaking with Radio Times, Peter Kosminsky slammed the plans, comparing them to similar actions affecting ITV in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher’s government that, he says, turned ITV into a “politically toothless organisation”.
“It’s hard now to imagine that ITV was like that once upon a time. Now it’s united into one broadcasting organisation, it’s gone hurtling downmarket, and it’s essentially a machine for making its shareholders money,” Kosminsky told Radio Times about ITV. “I don’t think anybody debates that. It doesn’t set out to make challenging or particularly original programmes anymore.”
“I can’t escape the feeling that now the heirs of Margaret Thatcher are back in power, and holding the reins of power unencumbered by a coalition, and they have the same plan for both the BBC and Channel 4 simultaneously,” he continued.
Following the publication of the interview, Kosminsky took to twitter to further denounce the proposed reductions in funding.
The proposed cuts to BBC, which would force the network to assume costs for a large percentage of licensing fees paid by Britons for television services, come as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s push to adopt tax cuts and limited austerity measures in the UK. Cameron’s culture secretary John Whittingdale has notably said he considers the licensing fees to be in essence a form of taxation. Opponents have countered that taking on those fees will result in a drastic reduction of services for British viewers. Kosminsky has been vocal in his opposition to the cuts since they were announced – in September, he called them “cultural vandalism”.