Why BBC should scrap licence fee and be like Netflix – Bill Jamieson

For whom does Lord Hall, the director-general of the BBC, speak? He claims that licence fee payers support the £1.75 million paid to TV presenter Gary Lineker, along with similar startling amounts paid to other prominent broadcasters.

Massive amounts of cash are paid out to the Beeb’s top-tier luvvies. The total talent bill has risen by £11m to £159m, with the number of stars earning over £150,000 up from 64 to 75.

That there are now more women in the top tier – Claudia Winkleman, Zoe Ball and Vanessa Feltz have all moved up the BBC’s star salaries list – does not begin to excuse the excess.

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Graham Norton on £610,000? Alan Shearer on £440,000? The laugh’s at our expense.

Lord Hall reckons the public backs salaries like Alan Shearers £440,000 (Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)

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Hall protests that the deal agreed by the BBC to maintain free TV licences for the over-75s in return for an inflation-linked rise in the overall licence fee should have been out in the open.

But no such objection was raised at the time the BBC signed up. Now it has reneged on that deal – allowing pressure to build on the Government to make good the breach. Note also the BBC’s sleight of hand – actors and some entertainment presenters who work for the corporation’s commercial arm BBC Studios are not included, so the stars of some of its biggest programmes – like Top Gear and Doctor Who – are absent from the list.

Time, surely, to scrap the licence fee and its self-serving abuses and move to a subscription model such as Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime, Spotify and BT Sports.