Satirist Armando Ianucci and culture secretary John Whittingdale faced off over the future of the BBC at the Edinburgh International TV Festival this week.
In the festival's flagship MacTaggart Lecture, the government was accused of asking the BBC to consider 'assisted suicide' by Ianucci, the award-winning creator of political satires The Thick Of It and Veep.
In a parallel on-stage interview, Whittingdale denied that the government's recent green paper on the future of the BBC was part of a Conservative vendetta against the BBC.
The culture secretary also refuted allegations that Rupert Murdoch had influenced the government's secret negotiations on BBC funding during July.
Whittingdale also found himself in a 'fiery exchange' with Sue Perkins, star of The Great British Bake Off, and has invited both Ianucci and Perkins to discuss their views further.
BBC head of strategy James Purnell struck a conciliatory note, saying that Whittingdale had changed the mood of the debate and proof of the government's stance would come in its white paper on the future of the BBC in 2016.
DTG Staff | 28.08.2015