BBC chairman to reveal shows that will be affected without licence fee

Sir David Clementi is expected to say that programmes like Strictly and Gavin & Stacey will not unite the country if the BBC goes behind a paywall

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019

BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi is to list a number of programmes that will be affected if the licence fee is scrapped, according to a BBC report.

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In a speech in Salford later today, the chairman is expected to say that shows and events of national importance will no longer unite the country if the corporation is forced to move to a subscription model.

“Sitting behind a paywall, [the BBC] would no longer be the place that brings the country together – for the Strictly final, or Gavin & Stacey on Christmas Day, or the Armistice anniversary or Holocaust memorial,” he will comment.

“Nor would it be the place that all could turn to celebrate live important moments we enjoy as a nation: royal weddings or jubilees, or Olympic successes.”

Clementi will also claim that without licence fee-funding, regional coverage would suffer, as would CBeebies and CBBC shows, and Bitesize services, as well as “homegrown ideas and talent to the benefit of our whole creative sector.”

Earlier this month, the Government launched a public consultation to determine whether to decriminalise non-payment of the BBC’s licence fee. Under current legislation, without a licence, watching or recording live TV or using iPlayer could be punishable by a prison sentence.

Clementi will say that the BBC is to “engage fully” with the consultation, however it “must be based on the evidence”.

“A decision of this scale, taking hundreds of millions out of the BBC and the creative economy, must not be taken in isolation,” he will add.

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The licence fee is set to rise by three pounds this April, to £157.50, in line with inflation.