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Sunday 16th June 2019

Ben Fogle offers to pay for pensioners' TV licences with his own wages

He has made a grand gesture

Animal Park presenter Ben Fogle has offered to donate his wages from the show to pay for pensioners' TV licences.

It follows the news that over-75s could lose their free TV licences from 2020.

The move could affect millions of people and Ben has taken a stand against it.

The TV star said that he owes the elderly men and women who have served this country over the years.

Ben made the announcement on Instagram (Credit: @benfogle Instagram)

The 45-year-old has decided to give his entire year's wages from Animal Park to the cause, but the amount has not been disclosed.

Ben aired his thoughts in a lengthy post on Instagram.

He began: "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.

"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.

"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."

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.
View this post on Instagram

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. 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. 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. My late grandparents, Jean and Dick LOVED the BBC. They would have been lost without it in their twilight years. My mother has made many great BBC dramas over the years and is soon to appear in the new Dr Who (spoiler alert). This is not virtue signaling (although I do think it’s time to rethink the licence) but 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. 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 💙 @age_uk

A post shared by Ben Fogle (@benfogle) on

Read more: Piers Morgan vows to pay D-Day veteran's TV licence after BBC's decision

Ben added that society is in danger of losing its "moral compass."

"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. 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," he wrote.

The BBC has announced it will means-test licences from next June.

It means that households without someone who receives Pension Credit will have to pay for the licence.

Ben is not the first famous face to object to the proposal.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan called the plans an "absolute disgrace" earlier this week.

Piers criticised the BBC's plan on GMB (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Over 300,000 people sign petition to protect free TV licence for over-75s

It comes after Chairman of the BBC Sir David Clementi said: "Linking a free licence for over-75s to Pension Credit was the leading reform option. It protects the poorest over-75s, while protecting the services that they, and all audiences, love.

"It is the fairest and best outcome. It is one we can implement and endorse. This is an outcome that is the fairest possible in difficult circumstances."

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