BBC warning: Proms row could be ‘final nail in coffin’, says Brexiteer | UK | News (Reports)

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The broadcaster has sparked fury over its decision to perform the traditional songs without the lyrics at the concert on September 12 amid a row over their perceived association with colonialism and slavery. But former MEP Mr Tice warned the controversy could spell the end for the BBC.

He told Express.co.uk: “They just seem so out of touch with the mood of the vast majority of the British people who are patriotic, proud of our nation, proud of our heritage and proud of the huge successes.

“The truth is they are no longer the national broadcaster, they are the broadcaster of north Islington.

“I think Tony Hall, the outgoing director-general, needs to wake up, slap himself round the face, smell the coffee and realise this could potentially be the final nail in the coffin for the BBC.

“They are in the Government’s sights, you have only got to look at growing support for things like Defund the BBC, the support that we in the Brexit Party get when we talk about it in our surveys.”

Richard Tice has warned the row could be the “final nail in the coffin” for the BBC (Image: GETTY)

BBC Last Night of the Proms

The broadcaster has sparked fury over its decision to perform the traditional songs without the lyrics at the concert on September 12 amid a row over their perceived association with colonialism and slavery (Image: PA)

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The Brexiteer insisted there is a “real mood for change”.

Mr Tice said: “I think that the mood of the vast majority is we believe in the great United Kingdom, we are proud of our heritage.

“Of course we weren’t perfect, no one is, of course there are parts of our history that we need to learn from and make sure we never do again.

“But if you try to cancel our history, cancel some of our most patriotic songs, then I think you are going to find yourself completely the wrong side of the mood of the country.

READ MORE: Nigel Farage calls for BBC to be SCRAPPED after Proms controversy

Richard Tice

Former MEP Mr Tice warned the controversy could spell the end for the BBC (Image: GETTY)

“This could be the final nail in the coffin for the BBC in its current form. I think there is a real mood for change.

“There is a recognition there are so many other ways of accessing great documentaries, great programming, factual news channels, that people will say ‘I just don’t need the BBC anymore’. It is a big important moment.”

The ex-MEP claimed those who are against the British anthems tend to be Remainers.

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He said: “It’s interesting, the people that don’t want the lyrics generally they are the FBPE whinging Remoaners.

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BBC Last Night of the Proms

There will be no audience at the Last Night of the Proms this year due to coronavirus restrictions (Image: PA)

BBC Last Night of the Proms

Members of the audience usually sing along and enthusiastically wave flags when Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory play (Image: PA)

“They don’t believe in this country, they don’t believe in being patriotic.”

Mr Tice also criticised the BBC’s recent move to scrap free TV licences for over-75s which sparked a major backlash.

He said: “When you think how out of touch they are with the recent row with making people over the age of 75 pay the licence fee.

“I think it is over 10,000 pensioners could have a free TV licence if Gary Linekar was no longer presenting Match of the Day at £1.75 million per annum.

BBC Last Night of the Proms

The broadcaster has confirmed the traditional favourites will be sung at next year’s Last Night of the Proms following the outcry which prompted an intervention from Boris Johnson (Image: PA)

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“It’s completely and utterly ludicrous. There are some fantastic sports people who could present that show for frankly a twentieth of that cost.”

There will be no audience at the Last Night of the Proms this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

Members of the audience usually sing along and enthusiastically wave flags when Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory play.

The BBC’s outgoing director-general Lord Hall said he backed the decision to ditch the lyrics this year.

But the broadcaster has confirmed the traditional favourites will be sung at next year’s Last Night of the Proms following the outcry which prompted an intervention from Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister said: “I just want to say… if it is correct, which I cannot believe that it really is, but if it is correct, that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land Of Hope And Glory or Rule, Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night Of The Proms.

“I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness.

“I wanted to get that off my chest.”

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