“I am exempt from buying a TV Licence, as I am Prince Harry’s girlfriend,” is one of the many hilarious, but flawed, real-life excuses given to TV Licensing by people caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a licence over the past year.
Around 94 per cent of homes across the UK are correctly licensed, but a small minority of people continue to offer TV Licensing Enquiry Officers flimsy excuses as to why they don’t have a licence when caught evading.
Dozens of tenuous excuses were collected from towns and villages across Scotland. A mother from Motherwell wasn’t taking any blame when she told an Enquiry Officer, “It’s only ma kids who watch the TV and they’re too young to pay for a licence.” whilst a man from Falkirk, said, I don’t need a licence as I’ve no intention of taking it outside and driving it doon the road, as its not got any wheels or an engine.”
A frustrated customer from Queensferry also asked TV Licensing to remove a nearby railway bridge, improving his TV reception so that he might then pay “I refuse to purchase a TV licence as long as that bridge is there. I can’t receive a good signal so don’t see why I should pay for it. Get rid of the railway bridge and then I will buy one.”
Top excuses from across the UK ranged from the fishy, “Sorry I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish,” to the coy “I am not paying for my licence now the BBC are showing porn. Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting!” to the frustrated ex-husband “I don’t need a TV Licence because when we got divorced a court gave her half of everything. So I got the TV and she got the licence. Go find her!”
To accompany the ridiculous excuses, actor and comedian Kevin Eldon took on the task of composing a selection of ridiculous poems, to coincide with National Limerick Day (May 12).
His tortured character ‘Adrian Holt’ reads out a number of literary creations in a series of videos, which are available to watch on TV Licensing’s YouTube channel from today.
Fergus Reid, TV Licensing spokesperson in Scotland, said: “We make every effort to find evaders and although excuses we hear can be ingenious, those we catch still need to buy a licence. We offer help to those struggling to buy and would much rather people buy a TV Licence in small weekly or monthly instalments, than face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
“A licence is needed not just for watching and recording live television but for watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer.”
A TV Licence costs £147 and can be bought online at tvlicensing.co.uk/info or by calling 0300 790 6071. You can also visit the TV Licensing website to find more information about when you don’t need a TV Licence.