Channel 4 chairman: BBC using its power for self-preservation

Luke Johnson, the former Channel 4 chairman, has lashed out at the BBC, branding it the single most

Just a week after leaving the broadcaster, Johnson said he regretted Channel 4's wasted effort in persuading the BBC to give up some of its licence fee money to other public service broadcasters. Johnson said "when BBC's £3.5bn 'jacuzzi of cash' is threatened, the entire machine dedicates itself to seeing off any rival - rather like Doctor Who and the Daleks joining forces to destroy the ultimate enemy."

Johnson and Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, are not on good terms. Thompson moved from Channel 4, back to the corporation in 2004, soon after Johnson took over as chairman, despite assurances that he would stay put. Channel 4's idea of merging with Channel Five is "madness", said Johnson, in a pointed attack at a plan which was first mooted by Thompson while he was Channel 4's chief executive.