Tuesday 17 January 2017

Sir Terry Wogan calls for changes to way BBC is funded

Published 04/10/2015 | 12:01

Sir Terry Wogan said losing the BBC would be 'like losing the Royal Family'
Sir Terry Wogan said losing the BBC would be 'like losing the Royal Family'

There should be changes to the way the BBC is funded, one of the organisation's most famous stars has said.

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Sir Terry Wogan, who has broadcast on BBC radio and TV for almost 50 years, said he would like to see the BBC run differently ahead of the charter renewal next year.

The 77-year-old told the Mail on Sunday magazine: "It's not a straightforward thing any more, broadcasting. It isn't a matter of having a national broadcaster. There has to be a question mark over the licence fee now, because of different viewing habits.

"Young people are not watching television any more, they are watching their iPads."

However, Sir Terry also said that losing the BBC would be "like losing the Royal Family".

Earlier this year, the BBC's director of television Danny Cohen asked a host of stars to sign a letter to David Cameron urging the Government not to make cuts to the broadcaster.

Sir Terry said he was not asked to contribute, and declined to answer if he would have signed the letter.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has questioned if the corporation should be "all things to all people" and Chancellor George Osborne criticised the BBC website for "becoming a bit more imperial in its ambitions".

The charter is up for renewal at the end of next year, meaning Parliament and the public are given an opportunity to influence how the BBC is financed and operated.

The broadcaster is being forced to make savings of around 20% by 2020, and are facing an increasing decline in revenue from licence fees as more programmes are watched online.

Last month Labour attacked the cuts to the organisation, with shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher claiming "the Government presents a clear and present danger to the future of the BBC".

BBC director general Lord Hall has said the corporation faces "some very difficult choices ahead" and confessed some services will have to close.

Press Association

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