Richard Madeley criticised for ‘laughable’ comments on BBC licence fee

TV presenter questioned why he should pay for services he doesn’t use

Sam Moore
Tuesday 18 January 2022 12:49
Richard Madeley claims the Gallagher brothers robbed his house

Richard Madeley has been criticised for supporting the idea to scrap the BBC licence fee.

Since the Conservative government announced tentative plans to get rid of the licence fee by 2028, a number of the broadcaster’s biggest stars, such as Gary Lineker, have spoken out in support of the BBC.

But Richard Madeley, who co-hosts ITV’s Good Morning Britain, has expressed support for having the choice of whether to pay for the licence fee or not.

In a debate with his co-host Susanna Reid, Madeley said: “We live in a culture of choice and we pay for our choices.”

He then compared the BBC to Netflix: “If I want to watch Netflix, I pay for Netflix, and I do, and if I want to watch Sky I’ll have a Sky subscription, and I do. Just to take your argument head-on, why should I pay for Radio 1? I never listen to it.”

Madeley, who got his start with BBC Radio Carlisle, then criticised having to “subsidise” services he doesn’t use: “Why should I be subsidising Radio 3? I never listen to it. There are all sorts of BBC services that cost a lot of money that I’m paying for in my licence fee. Why should I?”

Madeley was roundly criticised on social media for his opinion, with one user on Twitter calling his viewpoint “laughable”. Meanwhile, another posted that they were glad that Madeley does not present on the BBC.

The former This Morning host was also criticised for saying the BBC “leans to the left” politically without backing his claims up. Speaking about the fact he never followed his point up with any evidence to support his suggestion, one viewer sarcastically wrote: “What a shock”.

However, it wasn’t all negative. Madeley did find some support online, with some believing the broadcaster raised some “good points”.

The BBC’s current agreement with the government, which protects the licence fee funding model, ends in 2027. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has said she wants to find a new way of funding the broadcaster.

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