Dan Walker, Gary Lineker, Hugh Grant Rip 'Nut Jobs’ of BoJo's Gov’t For Plan to ‘Destroy’ BBC
15:19 GMT 17.01.2022 (Updated: 15:17 GMT 28.05.2023)
UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries indicated earlier that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)’s licence fee would be abolished in 2027, with funding frozen for the next two years and ultimately replaced by new funding methods.
Star names such as Gary Lineker, Dan Walker, and a host of BBC figures have railed against what they see as a plan to sacrifice the broadcaster to save scandal-plagued
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s premiership.
UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries went on Twitter on Sunday to underscore that it was time to “discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content,” indicating that the BBC licence fee would be abolished in 2027, with funding frozen for the next two years.
Dorries had also included a link to a Mail on Sunday report claiming the BBC would have to make £2 billion in cuts over the next six years as a result of the freeze.
The BBC licence fee, introduced in 1946, has risen steadily over the decades and is currently set at £159. It is typically revised every 1 April.
Payment is compulsory for anyone in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man who owns a television set capable of picking up free-to-air broadcasts.
Failure to pay is a crime, with hundreds of thousands of people prosecuted annually for non-payment. Those found guilty face fines of up to £1,000 and can, in principal, be jailed if they fail to pay.
Rob Burley, former editor of the BBC’s political programmes, went on Twitter to say that the planned move, still to be confirmed yet by Downing Street, was part of so-called “Operation red Meat," seeking to distract from the “partygate” row.
17 January 2022, 06:01 GMT
Warning that this decision would result in “services cut” and “more mistakes made,” he slammed the plan as “short-sighted."
Roger Mosey, former head of BBC TV News, was cited by UK news outlets as saying:
“A licence fee system is far from perfect. But the country needs to work out how to sustain public service broadcasting before it scraps the way it’s been funded for generations. And PSB (public service broadcasting) is more than just British content we can ‘sell.'"
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker shared an image on Twitter of different TV and radio channels, adding the caption: “43p per day.”
Former England football star Gary Lineker also responded by tweeting an image from the BBC press office showing content viewers receive after paying the licence fee. He added that the BBC was “revered, respected, and envied around the world.”
Actor Hugh Grant shared his thoughts on the reportedly mulled plans, slamming the “insecure, spittle-flecked nut jobs of this government” for ostensibly wanting to “destroy” the BBC.
A BBC News source was cited by the i newspaper as saying the government was “throwing us under the bus to distract from the PM’s difficulties.”
16 January 2022, 15:50 GMT
Furthermore, a plethora of policy announcements are reportedly in the pipeline to help the Prime Minister save his tenuous position over backlash for a series of alleged parties
that took place on Downing Street at a time when the UK was under strict coronavirus restrictions.
A probe is currently underway
into the events led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, with Boris Johnson “understood to have shared what he knows" with Gray over the allegations.