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BBC defends World Book Night coverage

20th April 2011

The BBC has defended its lack of coverage of genre fiction during World Book Night after it received an angry letter signed by 85 popular authors.

According to the broadcaster, it remains committed to 'delivering a broad range of books programmes across radio and TV'.

The letter, addressed to BBC director-general Mark Thompson, claimed that the BBC adopted a 'sneering tone' toward commercial fiction.

Authored by fantasy writer Stephen Hunt and signed by a plethora of working novelists, the letter went on to say: 'The Books We Really Read was deeply counterproductive to the night's aims of actually encouraging people to read novels.'

The disgruntled writers also claimed that the BBC fell short of its own high editorial standards by creating an 'unbalanced and unrepresentative' schedule of book programmes.

Authors showcased during World Book Night, which took place on March 5th, included Marian Keyes, Philip Pullman and John le Carre.

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