End of the BBC? Director General almost resigned over ‘nuclear’ threat to corporation

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After taking the role the BBC announced it would stop providing free TV licences for most of those aged 75 and over. The corporation argued it would have to make swinging cuts to programming if it continued providing the free licences.

Consequently only those receiving pension credit are now exempt from the charge.

Lord Hall made the revelation during an interview on Radio 4’s The Media Show.

In response to the Government’s decision he said: “I thought about resigning, but at that moment I thought you’ve got to get in there and try to stop this or ameliorate what they are proposing to do.”

Lord Hall said he decided to stay when it became clear there was no reversing the decision and in return the BBC had its charter extended by another 11 years.

He also claimed the Government made some concessions in response to the backlash.

In the UK in order to legally watch or record live television transmissions you must have a TV licence, proceeds from which fund the BBC’s operation.

This costs £157.50 per household for a colour licence or £53 for black and white.

Those caught watching television without a licence can be fined up to £1,000 in addition to court costs.

READ MORE: BBC BLASTED: Tony Hall savaged by irate MPs

People have previously been jailed for failing to pay this fine, with 50 being imprisoned in 2012 alone.

In June the Defund the BBC campaign group was launched calling on the licence fee to be abolished.

The group currently has over 93,000 followers on Twitter.

In return for funding from licence fee payments the BBC is supposed to produce politically impartial content.


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The BBC’s editorial guidelines state: “The BBC is committed to achieving due impartiality in all its output.

“This commitment is fundamental to our reputation, our values and the trust of audiences.

“The term ‘due’ means that the impartiality must be adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content, the likely audience expectation and any signposting that may influence that expectation.”

However Defund the BBC claims the broadcaster fails to live up to this expectation.

Speaking to James Yucel, who launched the group, said: “Their definition of impartiality depends on their interpretation of their values.

“Sadly I don’t think their values match up to the values of the British people which is why I have set this campaign up in the hope of making the BBC aware of where they’re going wrong.

“This isn’t a reform the BBC campaign, I don’t think personally the BBC deserves anymore chances, we want to scrap the licence fee – that is our sole aim.”

The BBC caused controversy this week when it announced the words to ‘Rule Britannia’ the ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ won’t be sung at the Proms this year due to an alleged association with racism.

Boris Johnson hit out at the decision stating: “I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history.”

The BBC insists its coverage is politically neutral and un-bias.

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