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Licence dodger 'only used TV as a lamp'

A homeowner tried to avoid paying their TV licence fee by claiming they merely used the glow from the set as a lamp to help them read.

Another said they did not think they needed a licence because their pet corgi was said to be related to one of the Queen's dogs.

These were two of a catalogue of excuses to feature in a YouTube video encourage people not to evade the annual TV license fee.

Officials from TV Licensing will reveal the responses today amid drive to encourage more people to pay their license fees, which is thought to lose the Corporation more than £190m each year, according to recent figures.

Other excuses included being unable to get to the shops because of the Olympic torch relay.

One viewer is even said to have claimed they did not buy one because they had stolen the TV set. More than 400,000 people were caught last year watching TV without a licence.

TV Licensing has launched the awareness video on YouTube. Spokesman Stephen Farmer said: "Some of the excuses are simply hilarious whilst others show a great deal of imagination and creativity, but being caught without a valid TV licence is a criminal offence and no laughing matter.

"Joking and wacky excuses apart, it's breaking the law to watch live television without a licence so anybody doing this risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000."

Can't pay, won't pay...

“Why would I need a TV licence for a TV I stole? Nobody knows I’ve got it.” Kilmarnock, Scotland

“I have lost weight and had to buy new clothes. I could not afford a licence.” Manchester

“I had not paid as I received a lethal injection.” Location unknown

“Apparently my dog, which is a corgi, was related to the Queen’s dog so I didn’t think I needed a TV licence.” Belfast

“I don’t want to pay for a licence for a full year. Knowing my luck I’ll be dead in six months and won’t get value for money.” Cardiff

“I could not pay for my TV licence because the Olympic torch was coming down my road and I could not get to the shop as the road was too busy.” London

“I only use my TV as a lamp. If you switch it on it gives a good glow which allows me to read my book.” Dundee

“Only my three-year-old son watches the TV. Can you take it out of the family allowance I receive for him? He watches it so he should pay.” Manchester

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