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DCMS Secretary: ‘BBC a national asset’

November 28, 2022

By Colin Mann

UK culture secretary Michelle Donelan has told Sky News that the BBC is a “national asset” and confirmed that she is “working very closely” with fellow public service broadcaster Channel 4 as to whether it should be sold off or not. The comments came as Donelan inspected construction work at Shepperton Studios.

Donelan’s predecessor Nadine Dorries had suggested that the BBC licence fee would be frozen and would end. “I think the BBC is a fantastic institution… we do need to make them sustainable in the long-term,” said Donelan. “It’s a national asset, we need to inject fairness and choice into the system that we pick, but we will make any decisions informed by evidence.”

Dorries had insisted that privatisation of Channel 4 would go ahead, with such measures to be contained in the anticipated media bill, which seeks to update broadcasting legislation for the digital age.

“I’m working very closely with Channel 4 on this,” Donelan revealed. “But we’ve been absolutely clear that we’re reviewing the business case, and that was one of my priorities when I entered the department, to make sure that we get this right.”

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