Plans have been revealed that No 10 means to freeze the broadcaster’s funding and eventually scrap the £159-a-year licence fee.
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said her next announcement about the fee “will be the last” amid reports it will be frozen for the next two years.
A host of famous faces have rallied behind the BBC which has warned the cuts could force it to close services and make redundancies.
In a subsequent tweet, he wrote: “I am well aware that the BBC makes mistakes and needs to change, but the media landscape would be much poorer without it.
“Those three letters are trusted and respected around the world.”
Other famous names defending the broadcaster include former England football star and BBC commentator Gary Lineker, children’s author Michael Rosen, and creator of ‘The Thick of It’ Armando Iannucci, who wrote: “If you really think your government can win back the public by tossing out a panicky weekend threat to the BBC, then you under-estimate the level of support, admiration and respect the public has for it.”
The licence fee must be paid to watch BBC channels and access iPlayer, and is used to fund the broadcasters’ wider range of services such as its radio stations.
Dorries is expected to freeze the cost of the fee at £159 until 2024, before it rises slightly for three years until 2027, then end completely.
Dorries remarked: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”
Comedian Nish Kumar, who hosts BBC Two’s The Mash Report, also tweeted: “I know that it feels like absolutely everyone hates the BBC right now, and there are good reasons for that, but ending the licence fee is bad news.”