During a recent interview, English actor Mark Gatiss had some serious words for the BBC, with regards to its critics. He, as per usual, did not hold back and had this to say - slight language warning for you young 'uns.
I say it at every opportunity - I'm proud to beat the drum. The BBC is obviously not perfect. It has the same problems it's had since its formation. It's a ramshackle, many-headed beast. It's frustrating to work for, it's infuriating to work for. But it's also wonderful to work for - and to appreciate as a viewer. We would be massively impoverished without it. It's absolutely typical that, in this country, it's 'prophet without honour' - and we are in serious danger of losing it for no reason at all, other than envy and profit. It sickens me that you're not allowed to say that the people who are attacking it have a vested interest in its destruction. It's all cloaked under the disguise of choice, and of opportunity, but it's just people who want to destroy it because then they can make money instead. It's blindingly obvious, and what the BBC needs to do - and is doing much more of - is just to grow a pair of bollocks and be robust about it and fight back!
The strongest critics of the BBC are the conservative party and, as an outspoken Labour party supporter, Mark Gatiss has strong views on what the BBC needs to do. Quite rightly.
We are better for the BBC - we are a better country for it. Everywhere else you go in the world, people respect and love the idea of it. You don't earn that kind of kudos easily. What you do easily is chuck it away - and we should be so, so careful at this point not to chuck it away.
Mark Gatiss can be seen next in Who Do You Think You Are, the family history show, on the BBC in October.