“This is an important charter for the BBC as it looks to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that new technology and changing viewing habits bring”.

The BBC is governed by a Royal Charter, with the current Charter set to expire at the end of 2016.

But – while the future of the licence fee (which even most Beeb-fans recognise will eventually have to be replaced) and the BBC Trust (which few would fight to save) will be key components of this government review – of more concern to the broadcaster’s supporters is Whittingdale’s announcement that he will also consider “the overall objective of the BBC and what services and content it should provide”.

What should its scale and scope be in the light of those aims and how far it affects others in television, radio and online? For example, the BBC acquired the format for The Voice.

Ms Hyslop, said: “This week’s annual report from the BBC showed that it is now failing to meet the expectations of the people of Scotland”.

The paper will also look into whether the BBC should still broadcast music channels Radio 1 and Radio 2.

The British Broadcasting Corp. may lose its income from license fees and have to rely on a subscription service as it faces its biggest shake-up in a decade. It will last 12 weeks for the public and industry to feed in views. The current £145.50 licence fee was “regressive” because it was charged at the same rate on every household with a TV set, he said.

The Secretary of State also said a review had found the decriminalisation of licence fee evasion would not be appropriate in the current system, but it would be considered as part of the review of the BBC’s charter.

Elsewhere, however, Whittingdale had some harsh words.

“And crucially, how to fund the BBC going forward”.

The document suggests that the BBC’s rapid growth in recent years should be reversed, with a stronger focus on its public service remit.

“We believe that this green paper would appear to herald a much diminished, less popular, BBC”.

But today we saw a different, nakedly aggressive side to the BBC – one which, in almost 20 years of reporting on its dealings with Whitehall, I don’t think I have seen before.

The BBC’s funding has already been squeezed as part of Cameron’s drive to reduce public spending and ministers have indicated they want to scale back some of its services, including the globally popular BBC website. It belongs to licence fee payers and the public should have a say in its future. The BBC belongs to the country. “They are our shareholders”, it said.

And they choose to stay with us for over 18 hours per person, per week, on average. It is to be hoped that everyone who watches EastEnders, Sherlock or Bake Off takes the time to make their voice heard.

It is argued that the media sector and the United Kingdom economy has benefited from the BBC’s role in innovation with the BBC undertaking research and development which would not have been picked up by the wider market.

Earlier this month, the BBC announced it was cutting more than 1,000 jobs in an attempt to cut costs. “However, we remain concerned at the suggestion that this funding be taken from the licence fee, [and] other sources should be investigated”.

Addressing the BBC’s regulation and governance measures, Mr Whittingdale said there have been occasions where the corporation has “fallen well short of the standards we expect of it”. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good, ” it said.