The Mail on Sunday

Noel told them hewouldn’t pay

Spokesman for Noel Edmonds, Saturday October 10

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TVLA spokesman told The Mail on Sunday that its database records show Mr Edmonds’s address had a valid television licence.

Journalist Charles Moore has also refused to pay the fee, in his case until the BBC stops employing Jonathan Ross. His stand follows the obscene phone calls Ross and Russell Brand made to actor Andrew Sachs.

He said: ‘I don’t pay the licence fee. I have received a warning letter from the TVLA about this matter but my position hasn’t changed.’ During a debate between Mr Moore and former BBC Governor Sir Christophe­r Bland, published in this month’s Standpoint magazine, Sir Christophe­r said: ‘I shall pay the licence fee on his [Moore’s] behalf, and I don’t think he can stop me.’

Asked if he had paid his friend’s licence fee, Sir Christophe­r said: ‘I haven’t paid Charles Moore’s licence fee yet. I might. I’m keeping my powder dry. I disagree with Charles’s position and don’t want him to become a martyr or go to prison. If I do pay Charles’s licence fee, I shall do it in a lightheart­ed way.’ Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has not paid his fee since 2001, claiming the BBC has a pro-European bias. His group, Vladimir Bukovsky’s TV Licence Refuseniks, has 1,500 members.

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten, who is involved in Mr Bukovsky’s campaign and who has withheld his licence fee since August, said: ‘ If what Noel Edmonds says is true, it appears the BBC and the TVLA are trying to close down the debate. This is backed up by Vladimir Bukovsky not being prosecuted. They wouldn’t want someone of his intellectu­al ability in the witness box. Neither would they want to be seen to be prosecutin­g a high-profile presenter like Noel Edmonds.’

A TVLA spokesman said: ‘ Our records show Noel Edmonds’ address is correctly licensed. We are very happy to look into any address he is willing to provide so we can be absolutely clear on this. We have prosecuted people who claim they are protesting against the licence fee and would not shy away from doing so. We have no evidence to suggest Mr Edmonds is breaking the law.’

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