Sue Cook, who presented the BBC One show Crimewatch from 1984 until 1995, warned the future of the broadcaster is “not looking very good”. The 73-year-old said that the Beeb still makes “some good dramas” and praised its foreign correspondents.
But Ms Cook accused the broadcaster of not wanting to “question anything”.
The former Crimewatch presenter made the comments during an appearance on Nigel Farage’s GB News show after he asked her about the future of the corporation.
Ms Cook said: “Sadly it’s not looking very good.
“It was an absolute national institution and a huge treasure.
“And I think they still do some good dramas although not quite as good as they used to be.
“You see all the woke boxes being ticked as the cast comes on.
“The foreign correspondents are still second to none – people like Frank Gardner and Jeremy Bowen and Orla Guerin are wonderful.
“But I think the news gathering is really quite shameful.
“And they don’t seem to want to question anything.”
Mr Farage pressed Ms Cook that “shameful” is “quite a strong word”.
Doubling down, she replied: “It is shameful. Throughout lockdown did anybody ever ask why?
“How are children going to be affected if you’re closing schools?
“How are university students affected if you’re shutting universities?
“Knife crime went up. Was there any journalism about that?”
“In my day we’d have found out the truth.”
Ms Cook’s comments come amid questions over the future of the BBC licence fee.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries wants a new funding model before 2027 when the BBC’s royal charter is up for renewal.
Taking to Twitter in January, Ms Dorries warned that the “days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over”.
However, she softened her tone when addressing the Commons a day later.
Ms Dorries said: “It is not a policy – we are announcing a debate and a discussion.
“The decision as to what the future funding model looks like is up for discussion.”
The BBC declined to comment.