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Why I'm Happy To Pay My License Fee And Stand Up For The BBC

19/07/2017 13:04 | Updated 19 July 2017
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The BBC it seems is under attack constantly from various groups, whether this be political parties or their supporters during elections for perceived bias or from it commercial competitors such as Sky. Back in 2009 James Murdoch described the corporation's size and ambitions as "chilling" and accusing it of mounting a "land grab" in a beleaguered media market.

But when successive Governments constantly try to undermine the BBC we should be worried. Forcing the BBC to publish the salaries of its stars is just the latest attempt to undermine the BBC. We have already seen the license fee money spent of broadband rolled out, the license fee frozen, plus the BBC have taken on Government social policy and funded free TV licenses for people aged over 75.

The BBC is admired worldwide. It was designed to educate, inform and entertain something it has managed to do successfully since its inception. The BBC has over the years brought us many great moments. Take comedy the BBC have brought us Porridge, Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and Dave Allen through to The Young Ones and Mrs Brown's Boys. The BBC has been the laughter sound track to my life.

It's not just comedy the BBC has brought us some great dramas that have ranged from Boys from the Blackstuff, Cathy Come Home all the way through to the current crop of top dramas Line of Duty, Happy Valley, Peaky Blinders and The Fall. All of these are the best of home grown dramas.

Then there is the sport over the years the BBC has brought us The Olympics, The Commonwealth Games, The Grand National, Royal Ascot, The FA Cup, The Six Nations, The Challenge Cup, The Open and The Snooker World Championships. Some of this coverage has been put under threat or lost as the BBC license fee is put under pressure or commercial rivals pay amounts that the BBC nor any public service broadcaster can justify.

It's not just this that the license fee brings us. Let's not forget news and current affairs and all the documentaries. I have never laughed so much watching Michael Portillo dance on his travels by train but learnt so much. I have been moved to tears by Hospital and Growing Up with Cancer. That's not it though that's only television there are the radio stations national and local. The BBC local radio stations do an amazing job with very little resources. They are invaluable in times of flooding along with the BBC local news on TV.

These are just some of the reasons why I am happy to pay my license fee and why it is such great value for money. Some people argue that the stars named into today's report could go to ITV and the BBC could find cheaper talent. This is an argument which is flawed because as the talent becomes more successful the more their commercial worth goes up.

This is just the latest attempt to undermine good old "Auntie" to put it under pressure. The reason is not because the Government wants the best for the viewer but because it believes in the free market and the BBC goes against these beliefs. It is ideologically driven to put the BBC under pressure to damage the BBC. But once the BBC has gone it has gone. The arguments are that the BBC makes it harder for commercial competitors to succeed. However research in 2014 published by Reuters Instititute for the Study of Journalism found that "If there were no BBC Television...most viewers would suffer a reduction in both choice and value for money".

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