Ax­ing fee ‘will tear BBC apart’

Daily Mail - - News - By Paul Revoir Me­dia Edi­tor

THE BBC’s chair­man is to warn that if the li­cence fee is axed, the cor­po­ra­tion will be forced to slash TV and ra­dio ser­vices.

Sir David Cle­menti will say tonight that the broad­caster would be a hugely dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion if the fund­ing model is changed to a sub­scrip­tion model.

He will claim that lo­cal TV and ra­dio ser­vices would face cuts and the num­ber of chil­dren’s pro­grammes would drop.

Last week the Gov­ern­ment sug­gested that the li­cence fee fund­ing model could be scrapped when the cur­rent Char­ter ends in 2027.

But the BBC boss, in a fight back against the crit­ics, will de­scribe the cor­po­ra­tion as a ‘na­tional as­set’ and warn that ‘a di­min­ished BBC is a weak­ened United King­dom’.

When Sir David de­liv­ers the talk in Sal­ford, he will ac­knowl­edge that although the BBC could thrive if funded by a vol­un­tary sub­scrip­tion model, it ‘would not be the BBC that the na­tion knows and val­ues’.

And ‘sit­ting be­hind a pay wall’ where it would not be avail­able to ev­ery­one means the BBC would no longer be ‘the place that brings the coun­try to­gether’ for iconic live events such as royal wed­dings, shows such as Strictly Come Danc­ing or Olympic suc­cesses.

In his speech, the BBC chair­man will warn: ‘A sub­scrip­tion ser­vice would be un­likely to have much re­gional pres­ence. It would not fund any­thing like the amount of money that the BBC at present puts into the nations and re­gions, in tele­vi­sion and in lo­cal ra­dio.

‘It would be un­likely to con­tinue the level of prop­erly cu­rated pro­grammes for chil­dren, or the Bite­size ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices that have helped so many teenagers.’

Warn­ing: Sir David

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