The man behind some of the BBC's biggest shows, including Sherlock and Doctor Who, has hit out at the Government's plans for the corporation.

Steven Moffat said the BBC was "a beacon of quality" and described the recent green paper on its future as "wretched" and "wrong".

He told The Stage: "If we allow, basically, the Tories to turn off the people that are criticising them, which is what is happening, I can't see how we'd get it back".

Unveiling the green paper last week, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said the review of the BBC's royal charter would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

He sparked speculation the BBC may be told to cut back on popular programming which competes with shows available on commercial broadcasters or to reduce its online presence and he raised questions about the future of the licence fee, suggesting that the BBC could switch to a subscription service in the long run.

The BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body, announced yesterday it would ask audiences for their views on the BBC and said the broadcaster was built on "a broad mission" including news coverage and entertainment.

It also said the current 10-year charter could be extended by another year, adding: "We suggest including a legal obligation in the next charter for Government to consult publicly with the BBC's regulator as part of any funding negotiations, and to seek parliamentary approval for any change to the BBC's funding."