London: James Bond stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and author JK Rowling are among the 29 celebrities who appealed to Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday to protect the BBC from cuts to its services.
Daniel Craig. Pic/Santa Banta
The open letter comes ahead of a government green paper today that is expected to call for a narrower range of BBC programming.
In the letter, the celebrities wrote, "In our view, a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain."
Stephen Fry, screenwriter Richard Curtis and Rachel Weisz are also the signatories on the letter which emphasises the "concern that nothing should be done to diminish the BBC or turn it into a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster".
"The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.
"Britain's creative economy is growing and enjoying unprecedented success. The BBC is at the heart of this as the global showcase for our creative industries. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad," the letter reads.
Culture secretary John Whittingdale is expected to set out a range of proposed reforms in his green paper tomorrow, among them the scrapping of popular shows like "The Voice" and the replacement of the licence fee with a household tax.
Other celebrities who have lent their support include Clare Balding, Chris Evans, Gary Lineker, Graham Norton, David Attenborough, Melvyn Bragg, DJ Nick Grimshaw, Lenny Henry and Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman.
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