The founder of a property portal has called on the BBC to axe a controversial property programme.
Axe the Agent? has been appearing on BBC1 during weekday mornings and a second series is planned.
The programmes follow vendors who try to sell their own homes – with mixed results.
But now Lee Bramzell, chief executive of Property Index, has written to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, claiming that the series is antagonistic and irresponsible, and could affect the livelihoods of 125,000 agents.
In the letter, Bramzell says: “Estate agents are expected to pay their TV licence fee yet the BBC use this money to create a show which could result in the loss of their jobs and ability to pay the licence fee.
“I unequivocally believe that estate agents are absolutely essential for both the buyer and seller. From establishing accurate property valuations to working to secure the best possible price during the negotiation phase, estate agents really are the only experts.
“The safety net that estate agents provide extends beyond accompanying all the viewings for the peace of mind of the seller, but they also drive the different members of the chain to ensure completion.”
He added: “I doubt the BBC will be encouraging their viewers to axe their GPs, fire department or police.”