News: Ben Fogle vows to donate salary from new Animal Park series towards free TV licences for OAPs

News: Ben Fogle vows to donate salary from new Animal Park series towards free TV licences for OAPs

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Presenter Ben Fogle has promised to hand over his entire salary from his latest show to help towards pensioners’ TV licences.

The daytime favourite has promised to donate the cash from weekday show Animal Park to fund licences for the over 75s.

He said the nation “owes” it to the elderly who have served in the armed forces, worked for the NHS and the fire service to pay the charge.

Earlier this week it was announced that only those on Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence from June 2020, a move that could hit 3.7 million people.

‘Amazing content’

Ben revealed that he would be donating the salary to Age UK in protest at the decision, though it’s not clear how much this is, Mirror Online reports.

In an impassioned Instagram post, wrote: “I LOVE the BBC. I think it is one of the greatest institutions in the world. It is the envy of most nations, it makes amazing content and I’d argue it is still value for money.

Your TV licence fee is about to go up
Your TV licence fee is about to go up

“I also owe my whole career to the BBC. They gave me my first break and they (you) employed me for many years but I am disappointed in the recent announcement on the abolition of free licences to the over 75s.”

He said it was the “least he could do” for the elderly.

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Ben continued: “I don’t entirely blame the BBC. I think the government forced their hand. I have decided to donate my entire salary for this years BBC Animal Park to subsidise licences for those over 75 who have no way of paying for a licence.”

He added: “We owe it to those over 75 who have served their country in the armed forces, the NHS, the fire service etc. Let’s not penalise those who most value the great BBC.

Ben Fogle with his four year old Labrador Storm
(Image: ITV)

“I think society is in danger of losing its moral compass. This is the least I can do for those over 75, an often neglected sector of society.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we started respecting, loving and thanking our elderly population? Love and peace all.”

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The Beeb has announced it will means test the licences from next June , with around 1.5 million people who claim pensions credit being exempt from the charges.

Critics attacked the Tories for breaking their 2017 election pledge not to make the elderly pay but then passing responsibility for annual £745million costs of the benefit to the BBC.




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