One in ten Scottish households avoids TV licence fee

This week’s revelation by The Times that 10% of Scottish households avoid paying their TV licence raises the question of whether the BBC is effectively providing for a Scottish audience.

While the BBC Annual Report claims that “it’s been a great year for Scottish content”, audiences in Scotland expressed that the extent to which the BBC provides for their part of the UK is lower than the rest of the UK.

BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in Glasgow. (Photo credit: Stevie Spiers)

The difference, however, is not significant. UK wide, 56% of adults think the BBC is effective at reflecting people like them, and 53% of adults in Scotland say the same.

Furthermore, 55% of UK adults say the BBC is effective at reflecting the part of the UK they live in.

graph1

Last year saw a variety of Scottish productions from the BBC, including the murder mystery Shetland and documentary series Island Medics, as well as the announcement that comedy classic Still Game is returning this year.

Despite this, the BBC’s spending in Scotland during 2017/18 had a sharp decrease from the year before.

While in 2016/17, £233 million was spent in Scotland, 2017/18 experienced a decrease of £10.4 million.

An analysis done by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) in 2016 found that out of the £320 million raised from the licence fee in Scotland, just over half of that money was spent on investing across platforms and channels in Scotland.

Graph2

Looking over to Northern Ireland and Wales, 75% and 95% of licence revenue were spent in the countries respectively.

According to the BBC Report, the spending on Scotland will increase this year, which is to be expected with the launch of the new BBC Scotland channel next month.

Last year, half of the Scottish adults viewed dedicated Scottish news services on BBC Television each week. The new channel will bring Scotland news from a Scottish perspective and reflect on Scottish life through contemporary programmes.

A spokesperson from TV Licensing says that they do not speculate on future evasion rates as they use a number of factors to calculate them.

“TV Licensing’s estimated evasion rate has remained broadly the same over the last three financial years. Our figures show the rate was between 6%-7% for 2016-17, and 6.5%-7.5% for 2017-18. Changes of less than one per cent are not significant.”

 

 

Colonel and General at war over new direction of Armed Forces recruitment.

Two army veterans are publicly disagreeing about the new direction army recruitment has taken with the British Army’s latest advert. Public opinion has weighed in with accusations of political correctness and focus is now on the future of the Armed Forces.

Multimedia adverts promoting new programmes to provide emotional and physical support for troops aired today, following low numbers of new recruits. Retired Colonel Richard Kemp has said it will not solve the army’s “recruitment crisis.”

The advert featured voices of men concerned about the emotional pressure to be “superheroes”, the acceptance of diverse sexuality, and in one scene a young Muslim man explaining how the army allows him to practice his faith. Compared to other adverts that predominantly feature combat scenes and emphasise masculine imagery, attention here is focused on taking care of the individual’s needs.

General Sir Nick Carter told BBC Radio 4s programme that “Our society is changing, and I think it is entirely appropriate for us to therefore try and reach out to a much broader base to get the talent we need in order to sustain combat effectiveness.”

While General Carter believes that by representing all areas of society the army can maximise the skills on offer. Colonel Richard Kemp voiced worries that it not only attracts the wrong kind of recruits but also sends the message of weakness.

Photo property of Army/PA Wire

Veteran Pete Dawson, commented that army advertisements have always been far from the reality of training and war. In an interview he drew concern that at 59 he could still complete the basic army fitness test, making him believe they have dropped their standards.

“It’s about fighting and winning wars, and if you think you can’t do that without bringing in a kit bag full of emotional baggage or concerns about who you are as a person, the Army isn’t the job for you.”

These comments reflect the strong identity that attracts young men to join in the first place, and this is where the accusations of political correctness trickle in. Sexual orientation and faith are not deemed important to a soldier’s success.  Melissa Jacobs contributed to online discussions to point out:

“Our soldiers are also soldiers, they aren’t there to represent their communities, they are there to serve the nation.”

Retired major general Tim Cross spoke out, calling to attention that the message is everyone is free and welcome to join the army but: “we are not going to be soft and we are not going to be nice to people.”

Colonel and General at war over new direction of Armed Forces recruitment.  

Two army officials are disagreeing about the new direction army recruitment has taken with the British Army’s new advert. Public opinion has weighed in with accusations of political correctness and focus is now on the future of the Armed Forces.

Multimedia adverts promoting new programmes to provide emotional and physical support for troops aired today following low numbers of new recruits but retired colonel Richard Kemp has said it will not solve the army’s ‘recruitment crisis’.

The advert featured voices of men concerned about the emotional pressure to be ‘superheroes’, the acceptance of diverse sexuality and in one scene a young Muslim man explains how the army has allowed him to practice his faith. Compared to other adverts that heavily feature combat scenes and strong masculine images, attention is focused on taking care of the individual’s needs.

General Sir Nick Carter told BBC Radio 4s programme that

‘Our society is changing and I think it is entirely appropriate for us to therefore try and reach out to a much broader base to get the talent we need in order to sustain combat effectiveness’.

The army general believes that by representing all areas of society the army can maximise the skills on offer. Colonel Richard Kemp voiced worries that it not only attracts the wrong kind of recruits but also sends the message of weakness.

Army veteran Pete Dawson, sympathises with colonel Kemp, commenting that army advertisements have always been far from the reality of training and war. In an interview he drew concern that at 59 he could still complete the basic army fitness test making him believe they have dropped their standards.

‘it’s about fighting and winning wars and if you think you can’t do that without bringing in a kit bag full of emotional baggage or concerns about who you are as a person, the Army isn’t the job for you.’

 

Tributes to Paul Daniels After Veteran Magician Dies

Jade du PreezPual-Daniels

Legendary magician Paul Daniels has died at the age of 77 from an untreatable brain tumor that he was diagnosed with in February.

He passed away in the early hours of this morning with his wife and assistant, Debbie McGee, in his Berkshire home.

His aggressive tumor was discovered after he suffered what doctors mistook for a stroke after he fell in his home in February.

Daniels fronted the BBC show Paul Daniels Magic Show for 15 years and was recently on Strictly Come Dancing.

He leaves behind his wife and three children from a previous marriage.

Today messages have flooded in across social media in tribute of Daniels.

In an interview with EN4 News, Edinburgh magician Elliot Bibby paid tribute to Daniels:

Bibby says Daniels has inspired a generation of magicians, including himself who went to see him when we was a child.

Fellow magicians Derren Brown said he “revolutionised magic” and “inspired a generation of entertainers”. Dynamo was “devastated” to hear about the passing of the magician.

 

Derren Brown tweet

dynamo tweet3

 

 

 

 

 

BBC consider scrapping Red Button as part of cuts

 

The BBC are considering scrapping the Red Button service as part of £150m cuts. (photo: espensorvik/Flickr)

The BBC are considering scrapping the Red Button service as part of £150m cuts. (photo courtesy of espensorvik/Flickr)

The BBC are considering closing their Red Button service as part of £150m worth of cuts.

Savings of £150m have to be made by 2017, with an additional £550mto be saved by 2021/2022.

Other cuts include £12m to be cut from the TV budget, with dramas protected, £35m from the BBC’s TV sports rights budget, and £50m cuts coming from 1000 job losses, which were announced in July.

Fans of big-budget shows like Strictly Come Dancing need not worry though, as these will be protected from the budget slashes.

However, sports fans may not be quite as pleased with the news. The BBC has already lost the rights to the Open Golf Tournament, and doubt is being cast on whether it will retain its coverage of sports such as F1 racing.

Director-General Tony Hall said:

“The BBC has and is doing everything possible to make sure the impact on the public is minimised. Wherever possible we’re targeting savings by creating a simpler, leaner BBC.

“But cuts to budgets for programmes and services are unavoidable. No Director-General wants to announce reduced spending on services that the public love. This is very tough, but the BBC’s financial position means there is no alternative.”

%d bloggers like this: