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Inquiry into ads on BBC (1985)

1985-03-03 Observer.jpg

[edit]

AN INDEPENDENT top-level inquiry into future Financing of the BBC —investigating the merits of new sources of revenue, from advertising to sponsorship — is to be announced shortly by the Government.

The inquiry is the price that Mrs Thatcher means to exact as a condition for the Government agreeing to a strictly limited increase in the £46 licence fee.

If the licence period is fixed for only one year, until the inquiry reports, the BBC is expected to be given an 8 per cent increase, taking the fee to £50.

It has asked for a 41 per cent rise to £65, lasting three years. Whitehall officials were at pains last night to point out that no final decision on the licence fee or the period had yet been taken by Ministers. Ostensibly that lies with the Home Secretary, Mr Leon Brittan, but the Prime Minister is evidently taking a close personal interest, which bodes not at all well for the corporation.

Mrs Thatcher has never hidden her view that she believes the corporation to be 'a thoroughly subversive' organisation.

Like many other politicians, she watches very few programmes, and when she does decide to do so—on Saturday night — she complains that there is nothing on.

The only programme she consistently listens to is the BBC4 morning radio programme 'Today,' and even that has been known to make her angry.

Although not renowned for her sense of humour, the Prime Minister is said to enjoy the television serial of Whitehall life, 'Yes Minister,' which aides videotape for her weekends at Chequers.

The BBC management had been hoping 'that Mrs Thatcher's personal appointment of Mr Stuart Young as chairman of the board of governors would soften the Prime Minister's hostile attitude, but that does not appear to have happened.

Downing Street officials have made clear their irritation over the BBC's decision to postpone production of a new series of Dr Who,' and the confusion over the showing of 'Dallas.'

Both are regarded as prime examples of incompetent public relations.

BBC executives said last night that they had no objection to an independent inquiry into future methods of financing. But they pointed out that a limited one-year licence fee would muse grave planning difficulties.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Raphael, Adam (1985-03-03). Inquiry into ads on BBC. The Observer p. 2.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Raphael, Adam. "Inquiry into ads on BBC." The Observer [add city] 1985-03-03, 2. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Raphael, Adam. "Inquiry into ads on BBC." The Observer, edition, sec., 1985-03-03
  • Turabian: Raphael, Adam. "Inquiry into ads on BBC." The Observer, 1985-03-03, section, 2 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Inquiry into ads on BBC | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Inquiry_into_ads_on_BBC | work=The Observer | pages=2 | date=1985-03-03 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Inquiry into ads on BBC | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Inquiry_into_ads_on_BBC | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 November 2017}}</ref>