I simply cannot imagine anything more ghastly than having a government minister – or opposition shadow minister – defining what is right for BBC content. Grant Shapps seems to have a view and I am unimpressed. I am the first to acknowledge the BBC does not always get it right and does some stupid things – the Diamond Jubilee coverage springs to mind and the paralysis of the Jimmy Saville scandal – but successive governments want to tinker with it because of the power of the licence fee.

The answer is to get the governance right after several attempts getting it wrong.

I have been fortunate enough to live abroad and mostly that experience tells you what an asset the BBC is and, despite criticism and some very low points, it is mostly a trusted brand.

At the very least give Tony Hall five years!

Christopher Macgowan

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