The England cricket legend went on a scathing attack on the direction the BBC is taking and claimed the corporation has “sacrificed quality for equality” and is now focused on “political correctness”. The former pundit on BBC’s Test Match Special for more than a decade also raised serious doubt over the sustainability of its current TV-licence financial model. Sir Geoffrey predicted a Government would one day “take away the BBC’s funding” and thrust the corporation into the competitive private sector.
A subsequent poll of more than 6,500 Express.co.uk readers has found the overwhelming majority agree with Sir Geoffrey and believe the BBC’s funding will be removed.
The survey conducted between 2.35pm on Wednesday October 21 and 7.15am on Thursday October 22, asked 6,709 Express.co.uk readers: “Do you agree with Sir Geoffrey Boycott the BBC’s funding will be removed?”
A huge 95 percent (6,357) of readers were in favour of the suggestion and voted yes.
Just four percent (283) of participants did not think the BBC’s funding should be removed and voted no.
Meanwhile, one percent (69) of those asked remained unsure and said they did now know.
A number of Express.co.uk readers let their feelings known in the comments section.
One reader said: “Subscription Service. End of… The BBC can then fend for themselves.”
A second user wrote: “Time for BBC to stand alone as a pay per view.”
A third commented: “It should be removed as a minimum. I think the organisation should be sold.”
Meanwhile, a fourth added: “If the licence fee isn’t removed the government will be!”
Sir Geoffrey, who worked on the BBC’s coverage of cricket for 14 years before his contract ended last summer, delivered a damning verdict about the format of the current programme.
The 80-year-old said: “They have sacrificed quality for equality. It is now all about political correctness, about gender and race.
“When you work for them you are wary and frightened of saying anything.
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“It is a minefield out there and that is sad.”
The BBC Royal Charter specifies the corporation “acts in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain”.
The former Yorkshire and England opening batsmen, who received a knighthood last year after being recommended by former Prime Minister Theresa May, claimed the BBC could soon be about to undergo radical change.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he added: “I think long after I am dead there will be a government come along who will take away the BBC’s funding and they will have to go private, out into the real world like ITV and Sky because at the top, it is not run particularly well.”
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The current licence fee model guaranteed until the end of the current charter on December 31, 2027 and is set to be reviewed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The annual cost is currently £157.50, and in August, the BBC pressed ahead with controversial plans to scrap a free TV-licence for millions of over 75s.
BBC Director-General Tim Davie acknowledged the corporation needed “modernising” but remained committed to the current financial model.
Speaking to a virtual Ofcom conference last week, he said: “I haven’t seen a model that beats the current one at the moment, a universally funded licence fee.
“The vast majority of households think it offers very good value. That’s what the BBC needs to focus on. Under my leadership, we’ll focus on that.”