Nicky Campbell discussed the BBC licence fee on his Radio 5 Live show but was forced to intervene after his guests erupted during a fiery row. Caller Steve rang in to the show and accused the broadcaster of not being impartial as he said the BBC showed their “true colours” during the Brexit debate. Guests began attacking each other and shouting loudly down the microphone with Mr Campbell forced to intervene and calm people down.
Mr Campbell opened up his morning show by discussing the BBC licence fee and the plans to freeze it for two years.
He invited a wide range of guests with differing opinions including journalist and columnist Stephen Glover and founder of an independent media research service, Claire Enders, who both disagreed on the BBC.
Mr Glover wrote in the Daily Mail he backed the review into the BBC licence fee and did not believe it was right that people should fork out money to pay for the whole service if they only use a small chunk.
Ms Enders backed the broadcaster and said millions of people around the world consumed the BBC and said the UK should be “proud” of its reputation.
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But the debate turned slightly hostile after a caller named Steve rang in to the show and questioned the impartiality of the broadcaster, claiming shows like Question Time only used people from a certain political outlook.
Steve claimed that during the Brexit process, the broadcaster’s staff “showed their true colours” and became political.
Mr Glover agreed and said “millions of people believe [the BBC] is biased” and that it needed to be “taken account of”.
Ms Enders said the BBC had to represent millions of people around the country, including those in Scotland who voted against Brexit, and said it was not the “Brexit Broadcast Corporation”.
The media expert told Mr Glover: “You cannot say that in a very a live democracy that getting rid of one piece of it which is a matter of global pride would somehow make things better?”
Mr Glover clarified and said he did not want to get rid of the BBC as the pair began shouting over each other.
Mr Campbell was forced to intervene and said: “Wait a minute, can everyone be quiet for a sec… Claire, I want to hold it… It’s Monday morning, I want to hold it so we can all calm down.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced today that the BBC licence fee will now be frozen for two years.
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The Government announced: “The fee will remain at £159 until 2024 and then rise in line with inflation for the following four years.
“The plans for the new licence fee settlement cover a period of six years and will take effect from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2028.”
The move has split public opinion with those heralding the BBC saying it will negatively impact the broadcaster’s output and others saying it was about time to review the funding structure of the organisation.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker is among a number of people who have tweeted out their support for the broadcaster, telling people it costs “43p per day” for more than 20 broadcasting channels across the country.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker also showed his support and wrote: “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.”