Bizarre TV Licence fee excuses revealed

A homeowner who tried to dodge paying their TV licence fee by claiming they merely used the glow from the set as a lamp to help them read. Photo: PA Wire

Officials from TV Licensing have revealed some of the most bizarre excuses made by viewers attempting to avoid paying the annual fee.

They include a homeowner who tried to dodge paying their TV licence fee by claiming they merely used the glow from the set as a lamp to help them read.

Another said they did not think they needed a licence because their pet corgi was said to be related to one of the Queen's dogs.

The excuses were revealed by officials from TV Licensing as they launched a drive to encourage more people to pay up.

More than 400,000 people were caught last year watching TV without a licence.

In a bid too highlight the issue, TV Licensing has teamed up with a Bafta-winning animator to bring some of the excuses to life for a short-film on YouTube.

Some of the excuses offered to TV Licensing include:

  • "Why would I need a TV licence for a TV I stole? Nobody knows I've got it."
  • "I have lost weight recently and had to buy new clothes. That's why I could not afford to buy a TV licence."
  • "I had not paid as I received a lethal injection."
  • "I don't want to pay for a licence for a full year. Knowing my luck I'll be dead in six months and won't get value for money."
  • "I could not pay for my TV licence because the Olympic torch was coming down my road and I could not get to the shop as the road was too busy."
  • "Only my three-year-old son watches the TV. Can you take it out of the family allowance I receive for him? He watches it so he should pay."
  • "I got caught shoplifting so I'm barred from the shop that takes PayPoint payments."

Spokesman Stephen Farmer said: "Some of the excuses are simply hilarious whilst others show a great deal of imagination and creativity, but being caught without a valid TV licence is a criminal offence and no laughing matter.

"Joking and wacky excuses apart, it's breaking the law to watch live television without a licence so anybody doing this risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000."