Broadcaster John Simpson: 'The BBC is in its last stages... and I expect to be sacked soon'

John Simpson

Bleak times: John Simpson claims the BBC 'is in its last stages'

The BBC 'is now in its last stages', according to veteran correspondent John Simpson.

The long-serving journalist also admitted his employer was a 'difficult organisation to work for' and that he sometimes 'hated' his bosses.

Asked about the future of broadcasting, he told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: 'I don't think that it's going to look very good for the BBC.

'I think the BBC we have known, for good or worse, is now in its last stages.'

He said he was concerned about a lack of funding for the organisation, adding: 'The way in which our entire broadcasting system has functioned for decades since 1955 is now under very serious threat.

'It will be very different indeed. It may be better, but I somehow doubt it.'

Simpson, 64, has reported from more than 120 countries in a career at the BBC spanning more than 40 years.

Now World Affairs Editor, he is one of the BBC's most respected journalists.

He was famously injured in a 'friendly fire' incident whilst covering the Iraq war in 2003.

A US plane mistakenly bombed the convoy of American and Kurdish forces in which he was travelling.

Now World Affairs Editor, he one of the BBC's most respected journalists, but has revealed that he has struggled over the years with executives over the organization.

He then joked that he would probably face the sack 'under horrible circumstances' for his comments about BBC bosses.

If that happened, he said: 'I'll hate the so and sos - I hate them pretty much anyway, but I'll hate them even more.

'Then I'll be tempted to say that standards have definitely dropped, when what I mean is that I'm not around any more!'

However, he added: 'Although the BBC is a difficult organisation sometimes to work for it nevertheless, in its way, is a magnificent outfit and I'm very fond of it - sort of.'

The veteran broadcaster also seemingly attacked Terry Wogan's recent criticism of the BBC, describing it as 'particularly savage'.

Earlier this year, the Radio 2 presenter had hit out at BBC bosses accusing them of lacking 'old-fashioned thoroughness and commitment'.

The star, who earns a salary in excess of £800,000, added that executives were now more concerned about their pay packets than the prestige of working for a world-renowned public service broadcaster.

But, Mr Simpson said: 'If you take someone's money, you owe them a certain debt of loyalty.'

John Simpson

John Simpson reporting after a bomb was dropped on a convoy of U.S. and Kurdish forces in April 2003, where he was injured by flying shrapnel

A BBC spokesman said: 'John Simpson, like many people, is someone who cares deeply about the BBC and its future.

'He is a hugely respected broadcaster who has made and will continue to make a significant contribution to the BBC.'