Aged British artists call for free TV licence

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Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Lenny Henry have signed an open letter calling on the next UK Prime Minister to reinstate free TV licences for all persons above the age of 75.

Their message comes as Members of Parliament prepare to question BBC Executives about the subject at the House of Commons saying they were deeply worried about the poorest older people who were set to lose out.

Angela Rippon, Len Goodman and Gogglebox’s June Bernicoff have also put their names to the letter.

Director General, Tony Hall and Chairman Sir David Clementi are among those who will appear in front of the culture select committee from 14:30 BST.

Earlier last month, the BBC decided that it would only provide free TV licences to over-75s who receive the pension credit benefit.

The corporation said it could not afford to waive licence fees for all over-75s after the government passed responsibility for the provision to the broadcaster.

The open letter, also signed by Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair, Ricky Tomlinson, Ben Fogle, Ed Balls, Miriam Margolyes and Lesley Joseph, will be taken to Conservative Party Headquarters later by the Age UK charity along with more than 30,000 letters from members of the public.

Rahila L.