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How free the BBC?

An explosion, Antony Eden and the Houses of Parliament

How free the BBC?


Listen to How Free the BBC?

BBC World Service is in the unique position of being funded by the British government and yet is independent of the people who hold the purse strings.

Looking back over 75 years, 'How free the BBC?' examines to what extent BBC World Service has been subject to pressure from its paymasters.

Perhaps the starkest example came during the Suez crisis of 1956, when the British government threatened to cut a million pounds from the budget of the External Services - so unhappy was it with the BBC's coverage of opposition to the events.

Presenter Raymond Snoddy talks to former BBC World Service bosses, journalists, politicians and historians to find out whether the BBC has always stood up so robustly to government.

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