#DavidAttenborough warned #BBC against lowering TV licence fee: 'That's the ...

David Attenborough on possibility of BBC 'vanishing' in 2016

The nature lover features in tonight’s episode of A Perfect Planet, which explores how animals survive amid the ever-worsening threats presented by climate change. Sir David is a beloved filmmaker who has made scores of documentaries including The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Life. The 94-year-old has produced a number of those shows for the BBC however in recent years, has threatened to usurp them due to having a bigger TV budget.

Sir David’s relationship with the corporation goes back more than six decades when he appeared on TV for the first time on Zoo Question in 1954.

He was appointed Controller of BBC Two 11 years later and thus responsible for programming on the channel. 

Sir David’s experience in the role helped him to understand the cost of wildlife documentaries but argued they were more important than reality TV.

His words have resurfaced amid the ongoing debate into the existence of the BBC’s licence fee, which some have called to be scrapped. 

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The corporation’s former director general Lord Tony Hall warned that such a nuclear option would threaten the institution’s very existence. 

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH BBC LICENCE FEE PERFECT PLANETDavid Attenborough warned the BBC against lowering the TV licence fee and called it a 'danger' (Image: GETTY)

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH BBC LICENCE FEE PERFECT PLANETDavid Attenborough first appeared on BBC TV screens with the show Zoo Quest in 1954 (Image: GETTY)

The BBC angered the public last year when they stopped giving over-75s a free TV licence and later the scheme was reintroduced but only for those on pension credits.

It also came as 250,000 fewer people paid the annual £157.50 fee and some used the service while exploiting the “digital loophole”, the BBC’s annual report stated.

Tim Davie, who replaced Lord Hall in September, sought to reduce the number of people using online BBC services, such as iPlayer, without paying the licence fee.

In 2019, the corporation raised £3.7billion from the payment, which was estimated to be around 76 percent of its annual income.

Lord Hall previously warned of the threat posed by streaming services such as , who have a £12billion budget compared to the BBC’s £4.9billion. 

JUST IN: David Attenborough blasted Andrew Marr's BBC TV licence fee criticism

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH BBC LICENCE FEE PERFECT PLANETDavid Attenborough's new nature documentary A Perfect Planet airs this weekend on the BBC (Image: BBC)

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This was highlighted by Peaky Blinders producer Caryn Mandabach, who revealed that the show cost “around one-fifth” of ’s The Crown, during the 2019 AOL Build Series.

She claimed that they were “broke”, which meant actors and crew had to “halve their fees” and work on a “really, really intense schedule”.

Meanwhile, Ms Mandabach suggested that The Crown had a far easier time and operated on around £50million per season according to a 2019 report. 

Sir David has been a part of this debate too, as a documentarian whose work has featured on both and the BBC. 

The naturalist claimed that the BBC needed to continue to make original and engaging content to survive.

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