Ab Fab Star Saunders Turns On BBC Management
Comedy actress Jennifer Saunders has launched a stinging attack on the BBC - calling it an "executive-run place for idiots".
The creator of Absolutely Fabulous was scathing about licence-payers' money being spent on lavish lunches instead of programme-making.
Her comments to Glamour magazine came as director-general Tony Hall set out his vision for the broadcaster's future, including extra cash for arts programmes.
Saunders, who is about to launch her autobiography Bonkers: My Life In Laughs, said: "(The BBC) is unrecognisable now. It's become top-heavy in such an ugly way.
"They went corporate instead of being what they should be, which is a national resource which trains people and curates the best programmes, encourages talent and provides great news.
"They just became an executive-run place for idiots."
The 55-year-old, who is now a Radio 2 presenter with her friend and fellow actress Dawn French, went on: "I remember when it was fun to be there and everybody in the building looked like they really knew something and were good at something.
"Now they have things like massive workshops on decision-making and you think: 'If you're a head of department at the BBC and you don't know how to make a decision, why are you in that job? That's the only thing that you have to do."'
She complained: "It got so annoying that you were called into these special lunches with the director-general at The Ivy and you were like 'F*** off'.
"This is the licence-payers' money. I'm paying for the car to take me there - we all are. And I'd like an extra bit of budget on my programme, please, and less of your wheels."
Saunders also made a more light-hearted reference to BBC creative director Alan Yentob, the man who originally commissioned Ab Fab and whose name has been used as an in-joke during the series.
She joked: "How is Alan Yentob still allowed in the building? There are questions that need to be answered. It's absolutely extraordinary and I just don't get it."