Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I had a visit from the "T.V. Detector Man"

Americans are often amazed to learn that in Britain you have to buy a licence to own a television set (which according to Richyrich costs £142.50). Other than satisfying our traditional British puritanism (of which I am justly proud) it pays for the BBC, the greatest public broadcasting corporation in the world (which blessed us with Doctor Who). In the USA nobody watches public broadcasting, here in the UK you have public broadcasting which is good enough to compete with, and often betters commerical broadcasting.

If you don't pay for a t.v. licence you can get a huge fine or even be put in prison.

If like me, you do not own a television, you will get lots of scary letters warning you of the consequences of watching t.v. without a licence. Until now.

I had a visit from the 'T.V. Detector Man" who came to inspect my property to see if I own a television. I had no hesitation in inviting him in to carry out his inspection.

I was glad to see he noticed the 'Please take off your shoes' sign on my doormat and he politely removed them. Very encouraging.


richyrich said...

Good that he complied with your wishes

Celestial Fundy said...


Television Licence Info said...

Actually, a licence is not needed to own a television set in the UK - a licence is only required to watch live television.

It is the watching of live television that requires a licence, and this is the case irrespective of the device used to receive it (if you watch a live broadcast over the internet onto a mobile phone, you need a licence).

If you only use your TV set for DVDs, video games, or to watch non-live services (such as iPlayer or 4oD) then you do not need a licence.

In terms of inviting a TVL Inspector into your home, you should note that you are under no obligation to do so. An "inspector" is an employee of Capita, not the BBC, and are paid a commission based on the number of licences they manage to sell.

Celestial Fundy said...

That is true, but I did not mind letting him in.