Wolf Hall director Peter Kosminsky said the British government is trying to "eviscerate" the BBC and warned that this would mean there would be no more productions like the popular Tudor drama.

Speaking at the Bafta TV Awards as he accepted Best Drama Series for the adaptation, he referred to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's reported plans to interfere with the scheduling of shows such as the BBC News and Strictly Come Dancing as similar to the "bastions of democracy Russia and North Korea".

He said: "In many ways our broadcasters, the BBC and Channel 4, which they're also attempting to eviscerate, are the envy of the world and we should stand up and fight for it.

"This is really scary stuff folks, not something I thought I'd see in my lifetime in this country.

"It is not their BBC, it's your BBC. There will be no more Wolf Hall, no more groundbreaking Dispatches."

Instead, he claimed programming would be made on the basis of how much it "lines the pockets of its shareholders".

He urged viewers to "stand up to this dangerous nonsense".

And Mr Kosminsky was not the only one to use the BAFTAs as a platform to defend the BBC. 

BAFTA chairwoman Anne Morrison said she was sending a pointed message to the government about its upcoming White Paper on the future of the BBC at the event.

During her opening speech, she said: "The British television industry is the envy of the world, we must never ever take it for granted... Whatever changes lie ahead and change is inevitable in such a fast-paced world, we have to find a way that range and the quality is preserved."