Celebs 'lined up' to front campaign

Over 75s may be asked to forfeit free TV licence

BBC ScotlandThe BBC is considering asking those over 75 to forfeit their free TV licence or make a voluntary contribution.

Funding free licence fees for over-75s cost the government £608 million in 2013-14 – about a fifth of the BBC’s budget.

The corporation will take on the burden of funding the licence for this age group from 2020 as part of a deal agreed with ministers last year.

Celebrities such as Sir Michael Parkinson and actress Dame Helen Mirren are understood to have been approached about fronting a campaign to support the idea of a voluntary contribution.

Lord O’Donnell – the former cabinet secretary – is expected to report on the issue this year ahead of the new funding arrangements in two years’ time.

There may also be new rules on paying for catch-up services such as iPlayer.

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