PUBLISHED: 10:19, Wed, Jul 1, 2020 | UPDATED: 10:19, Wed, Jul 1, 2020
The BBC licence fee has been a point of controversy since its inception. Originally introduced as a radio licence by the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1923, those wishing to listen to the corporation's services were required to pay 0.50p per annum.
Fast-forward nearly 100 years and cash-strapped Britons are now made to pay a hefty £157.50 per year.
The Government’s May 2016 white paper announced that the licence fee will only rise every year for five years from April 2017 in accordance with the BBC Charter.
The increase in price per year has left many dumbfounded.
What equally as many Britons might not know is that the Secretary for culture formally sets the licence fee – not the BBC.
BBC TV licence: The licence fee has long since been a point of contention among Britons (Image: GETTY/GOV)
Mark Thompson: The media man was the BBC's director general between 2004 and 2012 (Image: GETTY)
Despite this fact, even employees within the corporation have questioned its financial practices at times.
In 2010, the New Statesman spoke to the BBC’s Director-General at the time, Mark Thompson.
Mr Thompson left the role in 2012 and is now the CEO of The New York Times.
Known for his reserved yet candid approach to most topics, Mr Thompson attempted to protect the BBC from criticism, but quickly backtracked when observing its past machinations.
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Tony Hall: Hall is the current director general of the BBC but will leave in September (Image: GETTY)
On the subject of accusations of profligacy, Mr Thompson said: “Look you can’t run a public institution in the UK and not think quite hard about the