BBC 'to ask silver celebrities to front over-75s TV licence plea'


The over-75s will be asked to forgo their free TV licence or make a voluntary contribution towards it under a BBC initiative fronted by stars of pensionable age, according to reports.

The corporation is due to assume the £700 million-a-year cost of handing out free licences to the elderly from 2020 after reaching a funding deal with the Government.

A number of so-called "silver celebrities" including Dame Helen Mirren, Lord Bragg, Sir Terry Wogan and Michael Parkinson could be lined up to appear in a campaign driven by Director General Lord Hall of Birkenhead, The Times reported.

The plan is said to be part of a raft of options being explored by consultancy business led by former civil service head Lord O'Donnell.

Proposals under review are said to include paying for its popular iPlayer service and an increase in the licence fee in line with inflation.