Tony Garnett, WGGB:
"If you want to make dramatic fiction for the screen you must first strangle your creative impulses. The alternative is even more painful. It is to put your creativity at the service of the formula and take instructions from the executive apparatchiki. They need to feed off your creativity because they have none, and to control it because they are told to.
This totalitarian micro-management is not confined to just one area of television, nor even to television. It’s just the one I know best. It grew up under Thatcher as the bosses recovered their self-confidence and new management was encouraged to crack the whip. It has achieved its apotheosis in the grand years of New Labour’s incursion into every crevice of our public services. We cannot understand what is happening in screen drama unless we place it in the context of the wider society."
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Ben Stephenson defends the BBC here
Writers defend the BBC here.