Mike Graham: The BBC needs to be cut down to size

Thursday, March 5, 2020

talkRADIO's Mike Graham has called for the BBC to be "cut down to size" as he predicted the licence fee would not survive the year.

Speaking to television critic Mike Ward, Mike said the licence fee was "not great value".

He said: "I'm paying something like £12-15 per month and I don't really use it that much."

Mr Ward also said that the corporation needs modernising.

"The problem is, that it soot of exists in that bubble - and we talk about the BBC bubble all the time - so few people in the BBC seem to understand that it has to be taken into the context of an ever-chenging wider world...it wasnts to carry on as if it's 10, 15, 20 years ago," he said.

It comes and BBC boss Lord Hall took the contrary position, saying he believed the licence fee is here to stay, despite government ideas of turning the broadcaster into a subscription service.

The government is consulting on proposals to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee and ministers have suggested it could be abolished altogether when the BBC’s charter comes up for renewal in 2027.

WATCH: Mike says the BBC is 'way too big'

Today the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told media leaders that while the BBC is “an institution to be cherished”, it must avoid a “narrow urban outlook”.

He warned: “The BBC needs to be closer to, and understand the perspectives of, the whole of the United Kingdom and avoid providing a narrow urban outlook.”

But Director-General Lord Hall has hit back at suggestions that the corporation is redundant following the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

He defended the licence fee model, saying it means that “you've got to give something to everybody,” adding “I think that is a fantastic creative challenge”.

Lord Hall went on: “People say things like ‘What’s the point of the BBC when you’ve got the streamers?’

“The BBC is not Netflix, it really isn’t ... Netflix don’t do sport, they don’t do news, they don’t do a whole raft of things.

“It’s really important ... to see what the BBC does in the round,” he said.

“The licence fee, I think, beyond 2027 will still matter and will still be phenomenally important for the BBC.”

Boris Johnson’s spokesman has previously said the Prime Minister does not want to scrap “all licence fees” at this stage.

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