BUSTED : TV chiefs cooked up letter of support from stars

The BBC was accused of deceit last night after it denied orchestrating a celebrity letter to the Prime Minister backing the Corporation.

Despite overwhelming evidence that Danny Cohen, its director of television, masterminded the involvement of signatories, the BBC repeatedly refused to admit its involvement.

Last night MPs demanded an investigation into whether Mr Cohen had broken BBC rules by secretly asking a host of its stars to front Tuesday night’s open letter to David Cameron.

The BBC has been accused of deceit after it denied orchestrating a celebrity letter backing the Corporation, despite Danny Cohen (left with wife Noreena Hertz) and James Purnell (right) both being linked to the protest

James Purnell, the BBC’s head of strategy – who also happens to be a former Labour minister under Gordon Brown – was also linked to what was initially presented as an independent protest.

Signed by 29 actors, presenters and writers – including Dame Judi Dench, Graham Norton and Stephen Fry – it urged the Prime Minister to stop the BBC being ‘diminished’.

The Daily Mail asked the BBC five times where the letter came from. The BBC insisted – repeatedly – that the letter came from the stars themselves, and said it did not ‘know about the origins of writing it’.