BBC in 'death spiral' after demonising over-50s in TV licence fee row

The broadcaster has come under fire amid plans to spend a further £40million on programmes for BBC Three as part of a drive to target younger viewers aged 16-24 years. Meanwhile, older audiences have been left feeling poorly represented by the broadcaster following a letter from Director-General Tim Davie to a license fee payer, which encouraged them to enjoy shows made for a “general audience”. 

Commentating on the BBC’s new approach, TalkRADIO host Mark Dolan said: “The flag hating BBC dropped another clanger this week.

“By admitting that they are not going to make programs for the over 50s instead they are going to pump £40 million of your money into the youth channel BBC 3.

“Which was previously scrapped because no one watched it.

“Now the whole thing is fascinating, young people don’t watch normal telly, I explained that concept of the license fee to my 15-year-old son a short while ago and he thought I was joking.”

He continued: “The BBC is in a death spiral because it is prioritizing an audience that will never watch it. 

“Whilst demonising an audience, older people, who do watch it and have paid into it for decades.”

“And yet the BBC are happy to take money from hard-pressed pensioners, people who need telly for company.

“They are happy to jail them for not paying the license fee and yet they won’t make content for them!”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Older people are extraordinarily well served by a BBC that offers something for everyone across TV, radio and online – our aim is to reach and reflect all audiences, and more than 90% of UK adults use the BBC each week.”

Charlie Higson, the writer who co-starred in The Fast Show sketch programme, had earlier accused the BBC of stereotyping older viewers.

He told the Radio Times: “The BBC is forever tying itself in knots about the ageing demographic of its viewers, and some younger executives seem to think that us ‘old’ people only want to watch gardening programmes, re-runs of All Creatures Great and Small and documentaries about Vera Lynn. Or tanks.”

Recently, it was announced BBC Four, the channel attracting its oldest audience, is becoming a repeats channel while investment was being diverted to BBC, which will return as a fully-fledged TV channel in January 2022, six years after it moved online.

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