This isn't quite what Lenny Henry has said about the BBC. But it is what he means about the BBC. The organisation needs to be punted off into the private sector as soon as possible. For what he says here is entirely true:
On Sunday night at the Bafta TV awards we all heard impassioned pleas to protect the BBC from government intervention – let the TV people make great, award-winning programmes, while the politicians can do politics. We don’t want politicians interfering with Saturday TV scheduling. We don’t want the government deciding the running order of the Today programme.
Quite so, we don't want politicians involved in any of those things. And yet the BBC is funded by a tax upon us: yes, Gordon Brown finally admitted that the licence fee is indeed a tax. And politicians will always insist that they should be allowed to determine, indeed that they must determine, how tax money is spent. Thus, as long as the BBC is funded by taxation politicians will keep sticking their oar in.
The inevitable conclusion of Henry's demand is therefore that the BBC must be privatised in some manner. And how glorious it is to see that all the assembled luvvies agree with him. This might be the first time that both the ASI and the arts establishment have ever been in agreement.
It's really very simple: if you don't want politicians telling you what to do then you cannot have politicians telling you how much money you've got to do things with.