The 2010 UK general election is just around the corner (6 May.2010). Surprisingly, the future of the BBC is shaping up as being one of the top issues facing the voting populace with the Conservative Tory party coming out strongly to cut the BBC license fee which, some say, could jeopardize its future. Both the Labour and the LibDem parties have showed support for the BBC in their published party manifesto. The current government-set license fee structure is for 145.50 pounds ($225) per household, per year, for a color set and 49 pounds ($75.80) for a black & white license and is in place through 2012. In addition to access to BBC channels, the fee goes towards all of the BBC’s services on television, radio and online presence.
Leading comedians and actors speak out
In a letter signed by some 50 plus of Britain’s leading comedians and actors, including Eddie Izzard, David Tennant, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Peter Capaldi, the BBC was categorized as Britain’s most important cultural institution. Another vocal leader in defense of the BBC is Roger Lloyd Pack (Vicar of Dibley, Only Fools and Horses, The Old Guys) who raised fears that “advert breaks could be introduced on the BBC“. He also said, “If we attack the way the BBC is funded, we’ll end up with no channel where viewing isn’t disrupted by commercials every 15 minutes. Watching the likes of David Attenborough’s documentaries would never be the same again.“