Broadcaster Mike Graham took aim at the BBC amid debates over whether the TV licence fee should be scrapped. Speaking to Defund the BBC, a campaign working to get rid of the mandatory fee, he claimed the BBC is “out of touch” with ordinary people on the street. The broadcaster is planning to have a proportion of working-class employees, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Speaking to Defund the BBC, Mr Graham said: “I think the BBC were described in the Telegraph as being like walking into a gated community for the privileged.
“I think that’s exactly what’s gone wrong with the BBC is that instead of having ordinary men and women working there from relatively ordinary backgrounds when Britain was a much more socially mobile country.
“I think the problem in Britain now is that social mobility has completely stalled and I think it started with the Tony Blair generation whereby if you’re born into a poor, working-class family you have less of a chance of getting a job in the BBC than you would have had in the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher was in charge of this country.
“She was all about getting people into the stock market, getting people into the civil service, getting people into jobs that they never thought of previously doing.
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“I think now we’ve got this elite of university-educated, middle-class kids of people who can afford to put them through college and afford them to get jobs that don’t pay terribly well in their early 20s which most ordinary people can’t afford to do.
“We’ve now got a media and the BBC in particular run by people who are totally out of touch with ordinary people in the street.”
It comes as Lord Botham has urged his fellow members of the House of Lords to back his calls for over-75s not to be threatened with legal action over the non-payment of the TV licence.
The universal right to a free TV licence ended last year for the age group and only those in receipt of pension credit do not have to pay.
“This problem was not created by you but it rests with you to help solve it,” the letter to Mr Davie stated.
“We would like to hear how you plan to tackle this problem before public outrage grows further.”
Lord Botham told peers in a separate letter he was motivated to act after seeing media reports about the “horrific way” in which over-75s are being pursued for the licence fee.
“In my view, this is institutional bullying on a massive scale and there seems to be some kind of blame game between the BBC and Government,” he said.