The public has strongly backed the BBC with the vast majority believing it is "serving its audiences well", a government review has found.

The review of Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's plans for a reform of the BBC, launched last year, received more than 192,000 letters, emails and responses online.

In one of the largest ever public consultations, 150,744 respondents, 81% indicated satisfaction with the corporation's content.

A large number of responses, 126,826 or nearly 69%, also said the expansion of the BBC's services is justified in the context of "increased choice for audiences".

The views are seemingly at odds with Mr Whittingdale's plans to scale back the corporation, which must make £550m in annual savings.

However, respondents indicated a need for the BBC to do more to serve different audience groups, in particular younger viewers and black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.

The licence fee had the backing of 110,863 respondents, nearly 60% as three-fifths of the responses indicated "no change" was needed to the current system of funding.

But 27,951 respondents, 15%, indicated a need for some form of licence fee reform, such as closing the iPlayer loophole.

A TV licence is required to watch television as it is broadcast, even via a streaming platform such as iPlayer or Channel 4's All 4.

But a licence is not needed to watch television programmes on demand on iPlayer or All 4.

With on-demand viewing increasing, the BBC is lobbying for a change in the law to close the loophole.

On the question of governance, 73% indicated the BBC should remain independent from one or more of government and media watchdog Ofcom.

However, only 3.5% of respondents suggested Ofcom for this role, and 3% mentioned other reform.

In the BBC Charter Review consultation, regulation from Ofcom received the backing of other organisations, including Sky.

Sky said: "In the first instance, such a move would bring all media regulation within a single body with the necessary expertise and understanding of the sector as a whole.

"Ofcom has wide information gathering powers, which would give it access to the information needed for it to discharge its regulatory functions."

In answer to whether the BBC has done enough to deliver value for money, 140,236, or nearly 76%, indicated that it had.

The majority of responses also indicated a view that the BBC had a "positive wider impact on the market", including "raising broadcasting standards across the industry".