Veteran presenter Michael Buerk breaks his silence – Free speech is “seriously under threat” at the BBC

One of the BBC’s most seasoned presenters claims that free speech is “seriously under threat.”

“Woke ideology,” according to Michael Buerk, who has hosted Radio 4’s The Moral Maze for more than 30 years, has infiltrated the Corporation.

Radio 4’s ‘hopeless longing to connect with yoof’ and ‘increasingly woke’ editorial decisions put it at odds with its Middle England audience, the former newsreader said in the Radio Times.

Live discussion show host Mr Buerk accused social media sites like Twitter and Facebook of corrupting public discourse and driving people to perceive those who disagree with them as wicked.

The 75-year-old applauded the BBC for staying with The Moral Maze but expressed worry about “how long that will last” and confessed that the show is now “a little less aggressive.”

“In the wider world – and, it has to be said, in some parts of the BBC – more and more is being put off-limits, things that cannot possibly be said, new orthodoxies that are beyond challenge,” he the DailyMail.

“I do think freedom of speech is seriously under threat.”

Mr Buerk continued: “We used to pride ourselves it was a programme on which “the unsayable gets said”. There were no holds barred, the audience were grown-ups and didn’t need protecting from views they might not like.”

“The arguments weren’t curated or choreographed, and they didn’t need censoring because the whole point of the programme was to test them to destruction. It survives, even prospers in a modest way, despite the temper of the times.”

“I won’t say we don’t feel it on The Moral Maze… Maybe we’re a bit less abrasive than we used to be. To their credit, Radio 4 bigwigs have largely kept their nerve. I honour them for it but sometimes worry about how long that will last.”