Here’s the thing. A long time ago – indeed starting well before I was born, probably – Sunday afternoon/evenings were where the Top 40 Chart (initially known as Pick of the Pops) lived on the radio. My earliest memories are of being able to listen to it as long as I first sat through ‘Sing Something Simple‘ which proceeded it.
However, and unbelievably for those who ‘back in the day’ probably saw the chart rundown as an institution that would last forever (much like Top Of The Pops on TV), it came to pass that the pop ‘chart’ became irrelevant and so disappeared as a Sunday evening institution. True, the commercial radio sector retain a ‘made-up’ version of it as as method of selling sponsorship, but in reality the Top 40 Chart has gone.
So, to the thrust of my witterings. Once upon a time the BBC being funded by a licence fee made sense. It even made sense when commercial TV arrived. But today?
The massive infrastructure established to support policing and issuing licences is outdated. The BBC should just be given funds from Central Government, just as education, defence, or any other department is.
The illusion of the BBC being independent can be maintained by legislation, it certainly doesn’t need the pretence of an apolitical licensing structure as it once did. Like the Sunday evening radio Chart Show, or TV’s Top Of The Pops, it’s time to move on.
It’s time to scrap the BBC licence fee.