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Stars rally to save BBC after controversial licence fee announcement

BBC Broadcasting House in Central London.
(Image credit: Vuk Valcic/ SOPA Images via Getty Images)

Following claims that the BBC licence fee may be scrapped in 2027, many stars have begun to voice concerns and their support for the broadcasting service.  

On Sunday, Jan. 16, news broke that the UK government allegedly plans to freeze the licence fee at £159 for the next two years, before axing it completely in 2027.

Sharing a Mail on Sunday article about the news, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted: "This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors, are over. 

"Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content."

In response to the news, many stars voice their own opinions over the move online. Among the service's supporters are actors like Hugh Grant, ex-EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite, Dragons' Den investor Deborah Meaden, sports personality Gary Lineker, and TV presenter, Dan Walker.

British actor Hugh Grant blasted the decision online, writing "The BBC is something the whole world admires with envy. It is entirely appropriate that the insecure, spittle-flecked nut jobs of this government want to destroy it."

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Match of the Day host Gary Lineker added: "The BBC is revered, respected and envied around the world. It should be the most treasured of National treasures. Something true patriots should be proud of. It should never be a voice for those in government whoever is in power."

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Reverend Richard Coles (rumoured to be Poodle on The Masked Singer), meanwhile, said that he thinks the licence fee is "good value" for providing services cost "about an eighth of the cost [of] a cappuccino at Costa."

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BBC Breakfast presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker shared an image showing all of the TV and radio channels offered, writing "43p per day."

He added in a later tweet: "I am well aware that the BBC makes mistakes and needs to change but the media landscape would be much poorer without it.

"Those 3 letters are trusted and respected around the world."

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In a similar fashion, businesswoman Deborah Meaden shared an older image of the services provided by the BBC, commenting: "you will miss it when its gone".

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Unforgotten's Sanjeev Bhaskar also shared a rundown of some of the comedies that have been produced by the BBC over the years, claiming that the catalogue of shows shows "how vital the BBC is".

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While former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite wrote: "Today’s 1st overriding thought… Support the BBC at all costs. 2nd overriding thought… support the NHS at all costs." Later she added: "not necessarily in that order".

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.