BBC Digest 21 July 2020

BBC PRESENTER ‘SAVAGED’ OVER LICENCE FEE CLAIMS: The BBC’s Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty – paid £190,000 a year by the Corporation – had been savaged by viewers after saying that the BBC licence fee was ‘worth it’ to ensure that people were ‘educated’ (Daily Mail 21/7). James Gant noted that a storm of tweets had followed Ms Munchetty’s claims in the Radio Times that there had been ‘noise’ about the licence fee for years, but her programme was not ratings driven but there to provide a service that informed, educated and entertained viewers, and the £157.50-a-year BBC licence fee was ‘worth that’. Mr Grant noted that, in response, former MP Douglas Carswell had written:

‘If the BBC licence fee is ‘worth it’, as this well-paid BBC presenter insists, they’d have no difficulty getting folk to pay it as a voluntary subscription without criminal records for non-payment #DefundTheseTroughersNOW.’

Mr Gant, noting that the government was considering plans to decriminalise payment of the BBC licence fee,  also said that Ms Munchetty’s remarks appeared to be at odds with fellow Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, who had posted on Twitter the previous month that his programme was ranked the number one breakfast show on television ‘by some distance’.

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