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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Dimbleby: Powerful Interests Seeking to Deprive BBC of TV Licence Fee

Jonathan Dimbleby has hit out at the BBC's enemies and warned against future cuts in the TV licence fee.

Speaking to RadioTimes ahead of this evening's The BBC at War series, which he presents, the veteran broadcaster said: "I believe that while there are powerful vested interests who would like to see the BBC denied a licence fee [and] without a licence fee, the BBC could not do what it does. It’s stressed at the moment.

"There are cuts still coming. And in some parts of the BBC’s output, not least in radio - of which I am very familiar - and in television, those cuts are pretty close to the bone. Of course, more can be done, but there comes a point where that crossover between savings, proper savings, and weakened programmes, means that the BBC really is editorially diminished and weakened. And if you’re not careful you get a vicious circle and people say it’s not as good as it was, let’s get rid of it.

"The BBC has enemies, it has powerful enemies. It has powerful enemies in the press and powerful enemies in Westminster. Some for ideological reasons, some for straight commercial reasons."

In the two-part series Dimbleby recounts how his father, war correspondent Richard, played a leading role in the BBC's efforts against the Third Reich's slick propaganda machine.

"The essence of the BBC, and this is what the war established, is it has the potential to do top quality journalism. It is widely regarded as doing the best broadcast journalism. At your peril do we bring about a situation in which that is undermined.

"The war was the making of the BBC. It established it could report massive global affairs with authority and integrity."

Dimbleby exuded the value of the £145.50 TV licence fee, saying that the equivalent of 40 pence a day was "cheap as chips".

He conceded: "There are things wrong with the BBC. Heaven knows, the bureaucracy can still be slimmed. There are too many individuals who are not doing much who are pushed from one job people don’t want them in into a job that is not vital. Too many bullets of that kind are bitten. But I am sure that is a problem that can be tackled and will be tackled."

The BBC at War begins this evening at 9 pm on BBC Two.


Anonymous said...

The irony of this scumbag's comments should not be lost on anyone. His family have been sponging off the BBC licence fee for decades & he talks about vested interests.
His family are the vested interests that seek to ensure that the Dimbleby family coffers will forever be filled by TV licence fee. And no one can question or stop this.

Fred Bear said...

The TV Licence will only be saved if the BBC becomes less arrogant and greedy but I don't see any sign of that - just more special pleading.

They're taking a leaf out of Kenneth Williams as Caesar in 'Carry on Cleo' - going round shouting 'Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!'

Maryon Jeane said...

Mr Dimbleby admits that 'slimming down' can still take place, so that's what must happen. It's not only the outrageous salaries and benefits claimed by upper management - there's waste at every level, and a culture of waste. If the BBC were to be abolished, it wouldn't be any particular tragedy: the best programs are made by independent people (who are then treated cavalierly by the BBC) and they will simply sell their work elsewhere. The BBC claims the high grounnd on a lot of things (impartiality, professionalism, 'culture', 'public service broadcasting', etc.) which, if it ever did provide these things, it does not now provide. If it's dying, let it die.

Ray Turner said...

$145.50 a year is not as cheap as chips if you tend to watch TV for a couple of hours a month, or less.

Dimbleby is quite wrong to assume that people watch TV every day...

Tanya Rass said...

Mr Dimbleby and his BBC outfit did a good job besmirching the miners in 1984 and now there's just two mines left and they will close next year. Let the BBC implode or compete fairly but it's unlikely people like Dimbleby will suffer, the massive pay outs and golden pensions will take care of that. Better still, sell off the BBC to private equity that, should raise a few billions. Well, the mines got that treatment didn't they.

Rhys Patten said...

Typical BBC twats. Supporting the licence fee so they can travel and eat at posh places for free, while us normal people give away a fortune in tax and licence fees.