Noel Edmonds, British TV presenter, starts boycott of TV license fee in UK

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The majority of the BBC's income is from the license fee
Image: Redvers.

Noel Edmonds, a British television presenter, has said that he is not paying the television license fee in protest at the way the BBC "badgers, hectors and threatens" people who avoid paying the fee.

"Auntie's put boxing gloves on. I'm so incensed by the idea that I'm guilty of something that I actually cancelled my licence fee a few months ago," said Edmonds, making his non-payment of the fee public on the BBC Breakfast television program.

"There are too many organisations — and the BBC is a fabulous organisation — that seem to think it's OK to badger, hector and threaten people," he continued. "When I was at the BBC, it promoted the licence fee by saying how wonderful it was because — let's face it — the BBC licence fee is astonishing value," added Edmonds explaining the way he believes the license fee should be promoted.

Edmonds also claimed that TV licensing "haven't found me, and nobody's come knocking on the door." This is despite adverts by the organisations that, according to Edmonds, say "we know where you are."

Is Edmonds right in protesting the licence fee advertising?

TV Licensing responded to Edmond's comments by saying that "while we would always prefer people buy a licence rather than risk prosecution and a fine, TV Licensing has a duty to enforce the licence fee on behalf of the honest majority who pay."

"Unfortunately some people will only buy a licence when warned of the consequences of being unlicensed."


This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2008-09-14 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)