Entertainment

TV presenter Dan Walker defends BBC licence fee – it's '43p per day'

The broadcaster is one of many TV stars who have come out in support of the BBC.

Broadcaster Dan Walker has defended the BBC licence fee, saying it’s “43p per day”.

A host of famous faces, including the sports broadcaster Gary Lineker and the comedian Nish Kumar, have shown solidarity with the corporation after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries indicated the licence fee would be axed.

In a tweet, Ms Dorries, 64, said the next announcement about the fee “will be the last” amid reports it will be frozen for the next two years.

The annual payment, which normally changes on April 1 each year, is expected to be kept at the current rate of £159 until April 2024.

BBC Breakfast host Walker, who appeared in Strictly Come Dancing 2021, shared an image on Twitter of the different BBC TV and radio channels alongside the caption “43p per day”.

In a later tweet, Walker, 44 clarified: “I am well aware that the BBC makes mistakes and needs to change, but the media landscape would be much poorer without it.

“Those three letters are trusted and respected around the world.”

The TV presenter was sent home from the BBC One dancing series after his quarter-finals tango with partner Nadiya Bychkova failed to earn him a spot in the semi-finals.

Similarly, former England football star Lineker retweeted an image from the BBC press office that shows the content viewers get when they pay the licence fee.

The 61-year-old later wrote: “Yes the BBC brings you the best in news, in sport, in drama, in music, in children’s, in science, in history, in entertainment, in current affairs and Sir David bloody Attenborough….but apart from that what has the BBC ever done for us?”

He later retweeted a video from the 1986 TV licence advert “what has the BBC ever done for us”, adding: “The BBC is revered, respected and envied around the world.

“It should be the most treasured of national treasures. Something true patriots of our country should be proud of.

“It should never be a voice for those in Government, whoever is in power.”

The comedian Nish Kumar, 36, also tweeted: “I know that it feels like absolutely everyone hates the BBC right now, and there are good reasons for that, but ending the licence fee is bad news.”

The comedian Rachel Parris, 37, wrote on Twitter: “Just a reminder that the BBC licence fee doesn’t just pay for Strictly.

“CBeebies, GCSE Bitesize, The Proms, Radio 6 music, Popmaster, Attenborough, and the World Service as well as ‘the news where you are’…”

The writer, producer and director Armando Iannucci also commented on Twitter to respond to Ms Dorries.

Over several tweets, Mr Iannucci, 58, said: “I think it’s more likely to be your last rather than the BBC’s.

“First you come for @channel4 because you don’t like its reporting of events.

“Now you come for the BBC because you don’t like its reporting of events.

“Have you ever considered whether it’s the events themselves that are the problem?

Ms Dorries indicated she wanted to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access