BBC Director boasts it is ‘truly amazing’ the broadcaster is ‘pulling off’ forcing households to pay the licence fee
- Tim Davie said that the BBC does not ‘need to make a profit on everything’
- Boris Johnson described the £159 annual licence fee as ‘anachronistic’
The BBC director-general boasted to staff that it is ‘it’s amazing’ that the broadcaster is ‘pulling off’ forcing UK households to pay the licence fee.
In a one-hour meeting on Tuesday, Tim Davie said it was ‘glorious’ that the BBC does not ‘need to make a profit on everything’ and that it had ‘slightly better budgets than some of the commercial operators’.
Snippets from a recording of the meeting seen by The Daily Telegraph show the BBC boss talking to staff at BBC South as journalists prepare to strike over local radio cuts.
He bragged: ‘It’s truly amazing what we’re pulling off by the way. That most households are pretty happy paying a licence being a forced payment. It’s amazing what we’re pulling off.’
Speaking about the licence fee settlement, he said: ‘We’ve got to be careful at the BBC in terms of our message to the outside world.
A recording of the BBC director-general, Tim Davie, revelas him telling staff ‘it’s amazing what we’re pulling off’ in forcing people to pay the licence fee
The future of the BBC’s funding is currently under review but Boris Johnson described the £159 annual licence fee as ‘anachronistic’
‘People think we’re the cat with the cream at the moment and I know it doesn’t feel like that internally and I really am very sensitive about saying that.’
The future of the BBC’s funding is currently under review but Boris Johnson described the £159 annual licence fee as ‘anachronistic’.
Former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said Tim Davie’s comments showed the ‘arrogance” of the BBC.
He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘People don’t actually think the BBC gives them what they want.People are switching off. They are fed up getting spoon-fed this very central London, wokeish, apologetic view of their country.’
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Tim Davie has been speaking to teams across the BBC about the organisation’s strategy, alongside taking questions from staff. It’s not unusual for these topics – among many others – to be raised in internal discussions.
‘In talking with BBC teams, Tim regularly discusses the privilege of having the licence fee; the continued need to deliver outstanding content and distinctive journalism; the challenging circumstances facing the media industry, including the BBC; and the fact that the BBC can take creative risks that are harder for others to do.
‘The commercial media sector generally pays staff more than the BBC does, however many people work at the BBC because they believe in public service and have access to great opportunities.’