Friday 30 September 2016

Hopkins predicts end of licence fee

Published 12/05/2015 | 09:51

Katie Hopkins has said the appointment of John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary heralds the end of the BBC licence fee
Katie Hopkins has said the appointment of John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary heralds the end of the BBC licence fee

Katie Hopkins has turned her fire on the BBC - saying the appointment of John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary is bad news for the broadcaster.

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The columnist, who rose to fame on BBC show The Apprentice, told her Twitter followers that his promotion signalled the end of the licence fee.

"One of BBC's biggest critics appointed as Culture Secretary. Bye bye BBC Trust. Bye Bye Licence Fee. Bye bye Labour bias. Whoop whoop!," she wrote.

Her comments came as a corporation executive, who brought the likes of Poldark, Sherlock, Wolf Hall and Call The Midwife to the small screen, warned that the BBC will be forced to shrink its drama output if the licence fee is cut.

The BBC's controller of drama commissioning, Ben Stephenson, told Radio Times magazine that the broadcaster was at a "tipping point".

"It really can't keep cutting ... and the truth is the market isn't going to fill the gap of the BBC," he said.

"There will be less drama and fewer jobs ... We do need to increase the licence fee ... There isn't TV in this country, there is the BBC ... You can't just pull the rug from under that and think that nothing is going to change. And the BBC will be the poorer for it ... we are at a tipping point."

Mr Whittingdale has previously hinted that the days of the licence fee are numbered, saying that the current model is "becoming harder and harder to justify and sustain".

He has also called for the BBC Trust to be abolished and for an end to the "anachronistic" criminal penalties for non-payment of the licence fee.

Press Association

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