Belfast Telegraph

Why the BBC licence fee is great value for money

By Jane Graham

I’m tired of the handwringing naysayers who jump at the chance to decry the BBC at any opportunity.

This week news that the Beeb pay not quite 7% of their licence fee income — around £229m — to on-air talent like presenters, actors and musicians led to more calls for privatisation, a voluntary licence fee and/or inter-departmental homicide from the usual old whiners.

The BBC is one of the greatest creations in modern Britain, envied across the world for its journalistic nous, reliability of information, the enormous range of its output both online and onscreen, and the high quality of its programming across drama, documentaries, news and entertainment.

Without The Office, The Thick of It, BBC4 and those five brilliant radio stations (not to mention imports like The Wire and Mad Men), the cultural life of the UK would be poverty-stricken.

Anyone who begrudges £140 a year to support this awesome institution should really be ashamed.

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