Saturday, 31 July 2010

Your TV licence and you.

In days of your, mine too, when even the BRW, British Relay Wireless Co, weekly subscriptions included an element of the radio licence fee, no one had to buy a further licence to listen to the BBC via their rental radio. (More of a loudspeaker on a wire to a volume/selector switch actually).

Nowadays though, long long after the abolition of the wireless licence, subscriptions to all sorts of television providers are now rife. In fact, the SKY is not the limit in this field and VIRGIN are hardly virgins. Just keep your direct debits in order and you can sit back and think of England; land of the TV licence.

Yes, that little bit of statute that must be obeyed if you own anything capable of receiving television signals as they are being radiated, piped in or illicitly tapped into, is known affectionately by the BBC as your television licence. In fact even if Aliens try to contact you with old re-runs of ‘My Favourite Martian’ you must still be licensed before you can offer them a trip to your leader; if under Seventy-Five. (You that is... Your leaders age is not specified in the terms).

I of course fully recognise why the Writers Guild of GB are in favour of the licence fee and who could blame them? A fair days pay for a fair days work, plus repeat fees, has to be funded somehow if Aunty Beeb wants to use their worthy artistic merriments.

But hang on, Aunty is hardly the only program whisperer these days. Satellites and Cables carry all kinds of programming from sources other than the BBC even if a lot of them are actually repeats of BBC in times gone by. With a few ads during these old gems they are self supporting surely? In fact we paid for the licence on them when they were new anyway. But can we have a refund called a repeat fee for these? Does Father Christmas exist? Same answer.

So what do I see as a better way? Simply this. Subscriptions to program providers should somehow include the licence fee. Why pay twice? I refer you to the conclusions you arrived at earlier.

Incidentally, I wonder why the gas or electric cooker or the metal washing line, or a million other things around the house that are just as capable of picking up live colour TV signals aren’t licensed too under such rules? Oops! Better change that subject in case I ever get readers. (Our leader wouldn’t need to be a Seventy-Five year old to make use of that fact).

There’s some good news for black and white viewers though and that was not actually a racist remark because I was referring to folks who only have a monochrome TV set. The powers that be think programs can be made cheaper for such lucky people.

Ah well, look at the time, I must end here now. My program will be on soon and I haven’t set the +box to record it.


  1. Well Said Charlie,in your usual dry humorous way..Also you are exempt from this callous Fine sorry t. v. licence fee if your are blind,such a caring thing to do especially from an old auntie..To many channels nowadays for the bbc to warrant a £144 Charge,£3billion Annually they need to be put to sleep now,and go and hawk their wares in the Commercial World,the beeb has no place in todays modern world..

  2. A good point... A blind person need not buy a licence to watch the telly. Can I have a rebate for the day I got married then?

    But does this mean that Gordon Brown only pays for half a licence? After all he knows how to keep an eye out for trouble.