Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

BBC Boss Yentob Accused of Trying to Nobble Newsnight Probe

The BBC's Creative Director, who is also the Chairman of Kids Company, stands accused of trying to halt a Newsnight probe into the Government's decision to withhold £3m of funding from the charity.

An article in today's Daily Mail, jointly written by Savile-exposer Miles Goslett and Katherine Rushton, claims that Alan Yentob telephoned the Newsnight team just hours before the feature was due to air.

According to reports, Mr Yentob attempted to influence the Newsnight team by claiming it was not in the public interest to broadcast the feature, which highlighted concerns about the charity's financial management.

Kids Company is accused of handing out cash to youngsters without proper controls, some of which has then been spent on alcohol and drugs. The Government has said it will withhold £3m of funding unless Camila Batmanghelidjh stands down as the charity's Chief Executive.

The morning after the Newsnight feature Mr Yentob accompanied Ms Batmanghelidjh during an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Mr Yentob didn't speak during the interview, but sat in the background to oversee its conduct. Critics have said his presence may have been a ploy to encourage Today staff to go easy on her.

A BBC insider said: "It is highly irregular for a senior BBC executive to have been hanging around the Today studios at that time of day. He doesn't work on the programme and shouldn't have been there."

Last night Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said there was a "clear conflict of interests here" and called for Mr Yentob's resignation.

"Was Alan Yentob ringing Newsnight as a BBC executive or as Kids Company chairman? Either way, he must quit the BBC or Kids Company straight away," he said.

Mr Yentob is said to be "livid" that Newsnight is set to broadcast more damaging revelations about Kids Company tonight. If you have a valid TV licence (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) you can see the latest developments at 10.30 pm on BBC Two.

Monday, 3 August 2015

TV Licensing and Unoccupied Properties

Every so often people approach us on the issue of whether or not they need a TV licence for an unoccupied property.

Regular readers will be very familiar with the relevant legislation, but for the benefit of any newcomers: A TV licence is required for any property where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programme services. A TV programme service means any TV programme, broadcast on any TV channel, which is available to other members of the public at the same time or virtually the same time.

If a property is unoccupied then there is no-one there to receive TV programme services, so consequently no TV licence is required.

TV Licensing will invariably enquire about the licensable status of any unoccupied property. The person responsible for the property is under no legal obligation to provide TV Licensing with any information or assistance, but may voluntarily choose to do so. Experience tells us that communicating with TV Licensing is often a waste of time, so we strongly discourage it.

Remember also that TV Licensing do not have the automatic right to access any property to confirm its licensable status.

Technically speaking, a TV licence would be required for the unoccupied property if anyone, for whatever reason, decided to receive TV programmes on installed (e.g. plugged in) equipment there - for example, a person doing DIY who decided to watch TV programmes during their coffee break on a normal TV set.

Of course, the TV licence of a person's primary residence will cover their reception of TV programmes in any other place, as long as they are using a device powered by its own internal battery and without an external aerial. This means that if the person doing DIY, mentioned in the earlier example, wanted to watch a bit of telly on their unplugged iPad (or whatever), then they would be covered by virtue of the TV licence of their primary residence.

As you have probably gathered, the legislation is slightly archaic, confusing and not fit for purpose. You can find much more information in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare.

If you've found this article useful please share it with your friends and consider using our Amazon referral link for all your shopping.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Reader Letter: Do TV Licence Inspectors Have the Right of Entry?

In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I am a single Mum struggling to make ends meet, because I was recently made redundant from my part-time retail job. My TV licence was due for renewal at the start of April, but I decided not to bother as I rarely use the TV anyway.

My Dad has told me that he will pay for the TV licence, because my young son likes to watch the cartoons. I have refused my Dad's offer, because I don't like him interfering and my son has plenty of DVDs already. My Dad has told me that if the TV licence inspector calls I will have to let him into my flat, then I'll probably regret not buying a TV licence.

What is likely to happen if the TV licence inspector does call around?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for getting in touch. You'll find the answer to most of your TV Licensing questions in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare, which I'd encourage you to download.

Briefly, a TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is installed (e.g. plugged in and set-up) or used to receive TV programmes at the same time as they are broadcast to other members of the public. 

If you're not receiving TV programmes in the manner described, then you do not legally require a TV licence. A TV licence is not needed for watching pre-recorded DVDs or non-live catch-up services like the BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player. Similarly a TV licence is not legally required merely because you own a TV set (or anything else for that matter).

My advice would be to ignore TV Licensing completely, as you have no legal need for its services. Contrary to what your Dad may have told you, you do not need to prove a negative to TV Licensing. Simply place TV Licensing's monthly threatograms in the bin and ignore any of its employees that visit your home.

Do not waste your time communicating with TV Licensing, as you're under no legal obligation to. Under no circumstances engage with a TV Licensing employee, or voluntarily allow them access to your flat. TV Licensing employees have no more rights than any other visitor to your home. They do not have the automatic right of entry to any property, despite what they may pretend.

Best of luck for the future and please tell your friends about our blog.


If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.