BBC and C4 – What next for the state broadcasters?

Already before the coronavirus, the public were losing faith in our state broadcasters. Now, with streaming services booming and multiple BBC bungles, public broadcasters are fighting for their lives. Can and should the BBC and Channel 4 survive in 21st century Britain, and what changes do they need to make?


From Sunday 4th to Tuesday 6th October, the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the Institute of Economic Affairs hosted the 7th annual ThinkTent, which brought together politicians, journalists, academics, and business leaders to discuss some of the key issues facing the country. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the political party conference season moved online this year, so we live streamed all our events on YouTube.


Martin Durkin (Chair) | CEO of Wag Entertainment
Martin is CEO of Wag Entertainment, a television production and distribution company, and has produced, directed and executive-produced programmes covering the arts, science, history, entertainment, features and social documentaries.

Ben Bradley MP | Member of Parliament for Mansfield
Ben Bradley was elected Conservative MP for Mansfield in 2017, proudly the first brick in the so-called blue wall that followed in 2019. Ben is Chairman of the Blue Collar Conservatives group which exists to champion working people and develop a Conservative agenda to level up across the country.

Professor Philip Booth | Senior Academic Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs
Philip is Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. From 2002-2016, Philip was Academic and Research Director (previously, Editorial and Programme Director) at the IEA. He is also the author of “New Vision: Transforming the BBC into a subscriber-owned mutual”

Duncan Simpson | Research Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance
Duncan joined the TPA as a policy analyst in 2017 and became the research director in April 2019. He has written on many areas of public policy, including local government spending, rail renationalisation, US fiscal policy and the National Union of Students. Duncan is working towards the Investment Management Certificate and used to be a banking auditor at EY.

Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP | Minister of State for Media and Data in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
John is a Conservative party politician and MP for Maldon. He has served as a junior minister within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport since 2020, having previously served as Culture Secretary from 2015-16. During the 2016 Brexit referendum, he came out in support of leave, one of only six cabinet ministers to do so. In his role as DCMS select committee chair, he led the inquiry into libel and privacy issues, including the phone hacking scandal at News International. The committee was awarded The Spectator’s ‘Inquisitor of the Year’ 2011 award for its work.

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