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BBC under pressure to reconsider cuts

Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson among those who oppose cuts.

Several supporters, celebrities and music associations have sent letters to the BBC Trust on the last day of its public consultations over proposed cuts to some of the broadcaster's services.

A total of 47 celebrities including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Mark Thomas have signed a letter opposing the move, which includes scrapping 6 Music and the Asian Network.

The letter, published by the Guardian on Tuesday, stated that closing such services that have brought thousands of new listeners to the BBC would be detrimental to the corporation.

It also stated that the proposed cuts would impact the BBC's efforts to keep presenters' standards high. The move could also give the corporation's rivals an opportunity to make money at its expense.

Meanwhile, protestors resorted to "flashmob" demonstrations outside the BBC offices in seven cities, and handed over a petition signed by 80,000 supporters.

The UK Music, the Association of Independent Music, the BPI and the Musician's Union have also sent last minute requests to the BBC Trust, asking it to save BBC 6music.

They asked the corporation to stop "self-harming" with cuts to placate politicians.