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LEICESTER RESIDENTS SPEAK OUT OVER BBC LICENCE FEE FREEZE

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THE CITY’S residents have spoken out about plans to freeze the annual fee required for a BBC TV licence, with some going as far as to say it’s about time the broadcaster “fended for itself.”

Yesterday (January 17), the government’s culture secretary Nadine Dorries, confirmed plans to freeze the BBC licence fee at £159 for two years, telling the House of Commons that the government could “not justify extra pressure on the wallets of hardworking households.”

According to Katie Razzall culture editor at BBC News, the announcement has essentially “kickstarted a public debate on the future of the BBC”, pitting those who say Ms Dorries wants to “destroy a national treasure, against those who argue, that in a world of Netflix and Disney Plus, the licence fee model is outdated.”

Speaking to Pukaar News one resident agreed, and said that it’s about time the BBC, “fended for itself.”

“I don’t see why I should pay for BBC when I don’t listen to them, because they’re so bias,” he said.

“You see a lot of these celebrities that are on there that are overpaid.

“Gary Lineker, he’s on an absolute fortune and I see he’s been complaining that the government are doing this, but to me it’s about time,” he added.

Earlier this week, the Leicester City Legend and Match of the Day presenter, voiced his support of the BBC via Twitter, hailing it as something which is “revered, respected and envied around the world.”

However, he is not alone in his views, with many still holding the broadcaster, in high esteem.

The BBC has been the UK’s national broadcaster for almost 100 years and hosts a range of popular dramas and documentaries.

“I think they’re brilliant value,” said one resident who spoke to Pukaar News.

“I don’t watch much television but I listen to a lot of radio and I use their websites,” she added. 

“Kids TV is really good and I’m really pleased that it doesn’t have advertising, which is a big thing.”

Tim Davie general director at the BBC, said that the freeze would mean “tougher choices which will impact licence fee payers,” and warned that “frontline output” would be affected. 

The option of making the BBC a subscription only service is one of the options being touted to secure the future of the broadcaster once the two-year-freeze is over, as well as the additional of adverts.

However these changes would lead to the BBC being forced to change dramatically, warned Mr Davie.

“Once you’re trying to serve a subscription base and a commercial agenda, it is a completely different situation,” he said. “Because suddenly you are doing things that are there to make profit and make a return to a specific audience,” he said.

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