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"I don't have to pay, I am Prince Harry's girlfriend!" – top excuses for not having a TV licence revealed

Brits are nothing if not ingenious when it comes to trying to get out of paying bills

Published: Friday, 12th May 2017 at 8:00 am

Think you can worm your way out of paying the TV Licence? You're going to need to up your excuses game, because there are some doozies this year.


The organisation responsible for collecting TV Licensing money has revealed 10 of the best excuses they have received in the past year from people who've been caught out watching TV without a licence.

From a woman in East London claiming that she doesn't have to pay because she's "Prince Harry's girlfriend" to a person from Liverpool saying she only kept a copy of Radio Times on her chair "to remind me of what I'm missing", Brits can be remarkably inventive when it comes to dodging £147.

“I am not paying for my licence now the BBC are showing porn," one viewer fumed. "Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting!”

Topping the charts though is this from a woman in Bonnyrigg in Scotland: “Sorry I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish.”

Before you scoff, it appears fish CPR is genuinely a thing. Hope that poor fish lived long enough to see Michelle Fowler crashing her car into Beale's Plaice on EastEnders – fully licenced of course.

Top 10 excuses for not paying the TV licence 2017

"Sorry, I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish" – Female, Bonnyrigg

"My tag interferes with the TV signal" – Male, Liverpool

"I don’t watch the BBC" [as the theme tune to EastEnders played out in the background] – Male, Birmingham

"I’ll pay it next year when the Rangers are back in the Premier League, pal" – Male, Glasgow

"I have a smart TV and it’s that smart it can work without a licence" – Male, Paisley

"I don’t need a TV Licence because when we got divorced a court gave her half of everything. So I got the TV and she got the licence. Go find her!" – Male, Edinburgh

"I am exempt from buying a TV Licence, as I am Prince Harry’s girlfriend" – Female, East London

"I am not paying for my licence now that the BBC are showing porn. Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting!" – Female, Croydon

[With reference to a flat screen TV showing the Simpsons]
Customer: It's not a TV, it's an LCD fire.
Enquiry Officer: And it's got Bart Simpson-shaped flames – Female, Magherfelt

"I only have one leg, I shouldn’t have to pay" – Male, Leven

Do I need a TV licence to watch BBC iPlayer?

Yes, TV Licensing laws mean you have to have a licence to watch shows either live or via catch-up on iPlayer. It doesn't matter if you're watching via a laptop, phone or TV box, you still need to pay. That includes shows you've downloaded via iPlayer.

The BBC has recently announced that everyone who uses BBC iPlayer will need an account to access the service – so soon you will need a password to watch shows on iPlayer.


The corporation claims it will help deliver a more personalised service, although some have suggested it will also make it easier to identify people who are using iPlayer without a licence.


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