The BBC has come under fire for its ethics guidance which suggests that modern phrases such as "common era" (CE) and "before common era" (BCE) should be used in place of the more traditional, Christian terms "before Christ" (BC) and "anno domini" (AD), so as not to cause offence to non-Christians.
The proposal has been roundly criticised by both Christian traditionalists and some of the broadcaster's well-known stars. The former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali believes that the move "amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history."
Andrew Marr has defended using the more traditional terms saying: "I say AD and BC because that's what I understand. I don't know what the 'common era' is. Why is it the 'common era' in 20AD and it wasn't the 'common era' in 20BC?" John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme and Mastermind, agreed saying "I will continue to use AD and BC because I don't see a problem. They are terms which most people use and are clearly understood."
Even London mayor, Boris Johnson has had his say over the controversy in his column for today's Telegraph calling it "absolute drivel." He goes on to describe the proposal as "puerile political correctness" and urges all readers "to get out their Basildon Bond and hit the emails."
In a statement issued by the broadcaster's religious and ethics department it said "as the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians." However, it denied that it was forcing producers to adopt the more secular terms and instead claimed that producers were free to choose the terms they wanted to use.