Noel Edmonds: 'I won't pay TV licence because of 'threatening' BBC adverts
By James Tapper
Last updated at 1:54 AM on 14th September 2008
Noel Edmonds is refusing to pay his television licence fee in protest at 'threatening' BBC adverts promising to catch evaders.
The former Noel's House Party presenter, who was the BBC's main Saturday night host for a decade, said he was prepared to face prosecution for his stand against the Corporation's advertising campaigns.
Edmonds accused the BBC of wanting to 'badger, hector and threaten people' over the £139.50 charge in its commercials and poster adverts, which warn viewers it is 'impossible to hide'.
Noel Edmonds confesses to not having a TV licence live on BBC 1 Breakfast news
The Deal Or No Deal host decided not to renew his licence four months ago and faces a £1,000 fine if prosecuted.
Faced with the snub, TV Licensing, which is responsible for collecting the fee, said it was 'looking into' his case.
Asked if Edmonds was prepared to go to court over his stance, his spokesman Mark Borkowski said: 'Noel has told me he is prepared for the consequences.'
Noel tells Charlie Stayt and Suzanna Reid he cancelled his TV licence and few months ago and is waiting for the TV detector vans to come and get him
Speaking on BBC Breakfast News Edmonds, who made his name at the Corporation as a presenter on Radio 1, said: 'I worked for the BBC for 30 years.
Noel was the BBC's main Saturday night presenter for a decade
'When I was there it promoted the licence fee by saying how wonderful it was. But now Auntie's put boxing gloves on.
'I am not going to have the BBC or any other organisation threatening me. I've cancelled my TV licence and they haven't found me. Nobody's coming knocking on my door.
'There are too many organisations that seem to think it is OK to badger, hector and threaten people.'
Edmonds's comments come after numerous complaints about the advertising campaign.
The four adverts, launched in April, warn viewers: 'Your town, your street, your home - it's all in the database', adding that it is 'impossible to hide' if you don't pay.
Viewers and commentators have compared it to George Orwell's novel 1984.
BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons admitted last week: 'The right balance needs to be struck between ensuring compliance with the law and avoiding any disproportionate heavy-handedness.'
TV Licensing said: 'Anyone caught watching or recording TV without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.'
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