The Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale MP, has denied speculation that the Government plans to dismantle the BBC.
Speaking earlier this afternoon at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Mr Whittingdale said: "This idea that there is an ideological drive to destroy the BBC is just extraordinary, the people rushing to defend the BBC are tilting at windmills, they are trying to have an argument that has never been started, certainly not by me."
Pandering to the audience, the Tory turncoat retracted his previously critical comments about the suitability of Strictly Come Dancing as a BBC programme. Having clearly revised his opinion of the show, Mr Whittingdale said it was "absolutely appropriate for the BBC to do".
Asked about the BBC's news coverage, the Culture Secretary denied that he perceived any political bias, however, he did acknowledge that the BBC Trust was not best placed for investigating complaints about impartiality.
"I'm not convinced that people feel that it is right that the BBC Trust decides if the BBC has got it right or wrong," he said.
“We haven’t decided yet whether to give it to Ofcom, but Ofcom do carry out that function for other broadcasters and certainly there is an argument."
Responding to questions about the future funding of the BBC, the Culture Secretary acknowledged that "the licence fee, or something like it, is the best option" for the time being.
The BBC must be breathing a massive sigh of relief that its surveys, frenetic Parliamentary lobbying and celebrity letters of endorsements haven't gone to waste.
Oozing with smugness the BBC Director of Television, Danny Cohen, gloated afterwards: "There was a lot he said today that was encouraging – he said that BBC programming is second to none and is good value for money."