FORMER Question Time host David Dimbleby has said that Boris Johnson’s approach to the BBC is “quite frightening”.

The 82-year-old journalist was interviewed by Jorg Schindler for Spiegel International, Germany’s largest news website, about the future of the BBC under the rule of the Tories.

The long read article examined the pressure the BBC was being put under by Johnson and the incoming appointment of Paul Dacre as the head of Ofcom, and what effect that may have.

The veteran political pundit, who hosted Question Time between 1994 and 2018, is currently making a documentary ahead of the BBC’s 100th anniversary and gave his views on the public broadcasting company’s future.

READ MORE: Why do the same people keep appearing on BBC Question Time?

And the article itself references that many believe the BBC is currently “fighting for its very survival” amid Tory cuts, and that it became home to “controversy and scandal”.

The main “bitter fights” the article cited were the Scottish independence referendum, Brexit, the Iraq War and the Falklands War. And former BBC stalwart Dimbleby was scathing in his assessment of the future of the broadcaster and said that although he’d seen plenty of prime ministers come and go, the BBC always survived.

The article reads: “‘I was at a charity lunch with Mrs Thatcher well into her period in office,’ he [Dimbleby] relates. ‘I said: You came in saying you were going to clear out the BBC. You don’t seem to have done anything. Why not? And her reply was really interesting. She said: Because whenever I try to do anything to the BBC, people come out of the woodwork to defend it.

“‘That’s how it has always been,’ says Dimbleby. The BBC, he says, would dissect politicians and their arguments, with the political leaders ‘constantly attacking’ the BBC in return.

“‘The broadcaster always did best,’ he says, when it pushed back against those attacks. What about when the pressure grew too strong? ‘Then the BBC would appeal to the electorate over the heads of the politicians. That’s the only way.’

“Now, though, Dimbleby doesn’t know if the BBC can still be saved.

“‘Rarely in the past has the media outlet been so defenceless as it is now,’ he says, ‘and never before has the Government launched attacks as aggressive as the ones currently coming from Boris Johnson.’

“‘Margaret Thatcher was always angry with the BBC, but she didn’t want to destroy it,’ he says. But he’s not so sure about Boris Johnson. What he’s doing, Dimbleby says, is ‘quite frightening’.”

The article adds that this all began with Brexit, when the Vote Leave camp “caricatured the broadcaster as the headquarters of EU bootlickers” who were out of touch.