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Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear

The Ukip leader says the corporation should be 'cut back to the bone' and that it should become a 'purely public service broadcaster'

Jon Stone
Thursday 23 April 2015 18:59 BST

The BBC should be “cut back to the bone” and stop producing popular entertainment programming, Nigel Farage has said.

The Ukip leader said he wanted to see the BBC dramatically shrunk and only produce "public service" output - defined by regulator Ofcom as programmes broadcast "for the public benefit".

“I would like to see the BBC cut back to the bone to be purely a public service broadcaster with an international reach, and I would have thought you could do that with a licence fee that was about a third of what it currently is.”

Examples of public service broadcasting given by Ofcom include "local news coverage, arts programmes and religious broadcasts".

Mr Farage said he did not want to see the corporation entirely privatised but that the licence fee should be cut to about £50 a year, a two-thirds reduction in income.

Mr Farage strongly criticised the BBC after a debate on Thursday which he claimed had a "left-wing" audience biased against Ukip.

He branded those present a "remarkable audience even by the left-wing standards of the BBC" after he failed to win them over.

The licence fee is currently £145.50 for a colour TV – around £12.13 a month.

The fee is compulsory to watch live broadcast television at any address, irrespective of whether or not BBC services are accessed.

The Conservatives say they would freeze the licence fee and want a “comprehensive” review of the corporation’s Royal Charter.

Labour has pledged to see the BBC deliver value for money, while the Liberal Democrats say they do not want the licence fee to rise faster than inflation.

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