BBC campaign update and Dec demo

Sandi Toksvig, Alice Roberts and Ed Byrne amongst TV personalities backing SELHuG’s BBC campaign

Great British Bake Off co-host Sandi Toksvig, scientist Alice Roberts, comedian Ed Byrne and 30 other public figures have written an open letter to BBC Director General Tony Hall calling for humanists and other non-religious thinkers to be included on Thought for the Day. Please see bottom of this page for the full list of signatories.

The letter was published in the Guardian (Tuesday 13 Nov) under the heading Humanist views on Thought for the Day and the Guardian’s Religion correspondent, Harriet Sherwood, wrote a news piece called Humanists call for voice on Thought for the Day. There was also some responses from Guardian readers on their letters page

The signatories are all patrons of Humanists UK, which posted the story: Humanists UK patrons call for reform of Thought for the Day to reflect modern-day British audiences

Letter being handed to the BBC

One of the main aims of the campaign is to get people talking about Humanism so this has been a great week for SELHuG. The Press Association picked up the story which led to its appearance in a range of regional and local media. Readers’ responses made it the leading subject on the Guardian letters page two days later (Thursday 15 Nov), it has featured in several national diary pieces and led to a fair amount of social media chatter.

We handed the letter in to the BBC at our monthly demonstration on Tuesday morning. Last month’s letter was handed in personally by veteran campaigner and former President of the National Secular Society, Barbara Smoker, and the month before by humanist celebrant and activist Trevor Moore. We don’t usually get a response. Will this letter, signed by the great and good, get a reply? Watch this space!


Signatories to the letter supporting our campaign:

Julian Baggini
Piers Bizony
Simon Blackburn
Nick Brown MP Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne East
Ed Byrne
Richard Dalton
Janet Ellis
Warren Ellis
Tristan Garel-Jones Conservative, House of Lords
Francis Graham-Smith
David Hand
John Harris
Dr Alan Haworth
Robert Hughes Labour, House of Lords
Julian Huppert
Virginia Ironside
Michael Irwin
Christian Jessen
Shappi Khorsandi
Zoe Margolis
Eddie Marsan
Tim McGary
Kate Pickett
Alice Roberts
Michael Rubenstein
Ariane Sherine
Simon Singh
Kate Smurthwaite
Francesca Stavrakopoulou
Professor Raymond Tallis
Peter Tatchell
Dick Taverne Liberal Democrat, House of Lords
Sandi Toksvig