The BBC has announced that it is planning to bring in some “Silver Celebrities” in a campaign to encourage people aged over 75 to give up their free TV licences.
The BBC are exploring ways to encourage elderly viewers and listeners to consider paying the annual £145.50 charge on a voluntary basis. They are considering bringing in celebrities such as Sir Terry Wogan and Helen Mirren to help persuade TV viewers aged over 75 to give up their free TV licences.
In July, the BBC struck a deal with the government to shoulder the costs of providing free TV licences to the over-75s. The free TV licence will cost the government £468 million per annum by 2018-19. The government and BBC believe that many pensioners may agree to paying. The BBC have said that one other option would be to remove free TV licences if a person aged over 75 lives in a household with younger people in it. There will also be a review to see if the age of free licences should be raised above 75.
“The BBC has asked independent experts to advise on how to go about attracting voluntary contributions from over 75s when the government reduces its support,” said a BBC spokesman.
What are your views on this new plan from the BBC and the government? Should all pensioners over 75 be entitled to a free TV licence? Would you consider offering to pay voluntarily if you are over 75? Do you know anyone who would want to opt back in to paying their licence fee? Do you love the BBC enough to pay £2.80 a week for your licence? Should it be means tested?