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What do you want from the BBC in the future?

Victoria Derbyshire | 08:22 UK time, Thursday, 10 September 2009


Sir Michael Lyons is Chairman of the BBC Trust and is here at ten to talk to you (0500 909693). He's written an open letter to licence fee payers - read it here - and wants your input. So tell him this morning if you'd be happy to see some of your £142.50 being given to the BBC's commercial rivals in regional news, or if you agree with James Murdoch that the "scale and scope of the BBC's current activities and future ambitions is chilling.' Maybe you feel the BBC is value for money - I'm sure he'd like to hear you tell him that...


  • 1. At 10:05am on 10 Sep 2009, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    It's an absolute outrage that it's even being considered that BBC licence fee payers might have to subsidise the commercial media sector. This has all come to light of course because much of the commercial media sector are virtually bankrupt and this proposal is just another bail out similar to the economic bail out by taxpayers of banks and business.

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  • 2. At 10:09am on 10 Sep 2009, zelda wrote:

    I don't want a penny of MY licence fee to go anywhere near Murdoch and his empire.

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  • 3. At 10:12am on 10 Sep 2009, Peter wrote:

    What I would like as an Ex Pat. is a subscription service for all BBC content via the iplayer or downloads. I think it should be the license fee renewable yearly, because you don't know what good value for money the BBC is until it's gone. It's pennies per day.

    I'd also think about a new way of charging for the license fee in the UK. Mostly because with new media it's not just on a TV that you receive BBC content. The Government should replace VAT on all media players (TV's radios, ipod computers etc) with a tax at the VAT rate to pay for the BBC. To be adjusted in future as needed.

    As for Murdoch, the BBC a free unbiased/balanced news service scuppers his father's plan to charge for News content online. For while the BBC exists nobody in their right mind will pay for a biased news service, Fox News anyone?


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  • 4. At 10:26am on 10 Sep 2009, Ron Norton wrote:

    Is it right that your news readers get more than an MP

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  • 5. At 10:29am on 10 Sep 2009, Ron Norton wrote:

    He sounds like the MP's riggle, riggle. No straight answers.

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  • 6. At 10:31am on 10 Sep 2009, nickswat wrote:

    When will the BBC finally provide a national radio station for England? Surely the country in which we live has the right to a national broadcast outlet, in the same manner as any other 'home nation'?

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  • 7. At 10:33am on 10 Sep 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    Agree with comments 1 (that's a first) & 2.

    No way should the BBC subsidise commercial channels - the licence fee is for the BBC.

    We already pay for the commercial channels in buying food and items advertised.

    Ben Bradshaw (Labour MP for Exeter) is pushing this I gather. An ex Beeb employee too....

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  • 8. At 10:34am on 10 Sep 2009, Binkie wrote:


    Sir Michael Lyons answers are typical BBC patronising speak we always get.

    He is just speaking over your questions.

    How much of the licence fee has been spent on his media training to justify and defend the BBC.

    Is this role of the BBC Trust ?

    I don't think so.

    Did I just hear him say that he has a big and demanding job ?

    2 Callers in half an hour while he waffles on ?

    Not enough I'm afraid.

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  • 9. At 10:40am on 10 Sep 2009, GDInnes wrote:

    Oh for god's sake. Sir Michael sounds just like another Michael - Michael Martin. He just doesn't get it, does he? Can someone please shut him up before he loses the great British public's support for one of our greatest national institutions.

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  • 10. At 10:43am on 10 Sep 2009, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    Interesting that comments to the BBC editors blog over the question of whether BNP leader Nick Griffin should appear on Question Time has closed so early! Of course the BNP should appear on this stage-managed programme anyway if only to prove that once they start discussing other issues apart from race and nationalism that their party, like UKIP, are just glorified Tories!

    While there's so much media attention given to the rights of sad and deluded outfits like the BNP, the row completely avoids the issue that there is very seldom anyone from the radical left appearing on not just Question Time but most BBC current affair programmes.

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  • 11. At 10:44am on 10 Sep 2009, unluckynotstupid wrote:

    OOOOOh! (said with appropriate inflection)

    The Chairman of the BBC lost his cool today - it was disgraceful for him to indirectly warn Victoria when she challenged him on the Deputy Director not using the Tube. He asked her if she would like to be criicised about her programme in full hearing of the other passengers!
    Well done V for coming back at him in your own defence.
    And then he offered to let her join in a jolly (like attending the Strictly final) by using his power and influence.
    What is coming through in waves is this arrogant smug man is going to defend to the death his and his cronies right to ride the gravy train.
    He did like the young girl's question and managed to patronize her beautifully.
    So we are even paying the TAX on his expenses. OMG.

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  • 12. At 10:44am on 10 Sep 2009, AndyD100 wrote:


    do not allow this man to talk over you in a pompous and patronising manner. He is talking rubbish if he honestly expects us to believe the DG works in his Chauffeur driven car in the few miles the lazy, self important fool takes to get to work.

    He sounds like a career politician and an apologist to me.

    Pompous, pompous, pompous!!

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  • 13. At 10:50am on 10 Sep 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Why didn't you ask him how much of the £3.6 billion the BBC gets in the licence fee goes in paying for gold plated pensions for him and his ilk ?

    Lyons got too easy a ride.

    Always love the e mails that say how much they love the BBC and can't wait to pay their licence fee every year.

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  • 14. At 10:50am on 10 Sep 2009, Garry204 wrote:

    Well done Victoria for not having attended any live BBC shows. He obviously was trying to embarrass you, so it was great to hear it backfire on him. As for £200+ per night hotels being necessary, obviously he considers it his due.

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  • 15. At 10:51am on 10 Sep 2009, Strandloper wrote:

    Have I really just listened to that? What a patronising, arrogant twerp he was, he actually said 'I expect my overnight accomodation to be comfortable otherwise I wouldn't do this job' overnight accomodation for him having a free night out on us at the Strictly Come Dancing final! And don't you dare try and pass that off as 'research', don't insult my intelligence.

    Well I for one don't want you to do this job, go away Mr Lyons.

    Bit disaapointed in Victoria as well, obviously this Mr Lyons is ultimately Victorias boss, so she felt uncomfortable asking him challenging questions, I mean what has Victoria attending a BBC show have to do with anything! Stupid pompous twerp.

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  • 16. At 10:52am on 10 Sep 2009, theflavaflave wrote:

    what an unpleasant man

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  • 17. At 10:53am on 10 Sep 2009, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    What's up Victoria did you run out of time? The issue about licence fee funding of the likes of Murdoch didn't come up.

    No doubt your producers might consider it a suitable topic for the main phone in sometime?

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  • 18. At 10:56am on 10 Sep 2009, rammychick wrote:

    I would like to stop paying the license fee.
    Make the BBC pay as you view.
    £10 a month would be suitable.
    This would give customers a choice.
    I live in Lancashire and don't know anybody who agrees with having to pay the BBC license fee!!

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  • 19. At 10:58am on 10 Sep 2009, nimsay123 wrote:

    I am simply flabbergasted by the arrogance and thick skinned attitude of Michael Lyons.

    He seems to think that you can only recruit people with large salaries comparable to the private sector when they don’t have the same risks as the private sector!

    In the next breadth he say he took his ‘job’ because it was interesting and that he made sacrifices!

    Which is it?

    It is this kind of arrogance and idiotic self-importance which has brought the BBC in to disrepute!

    Michael Lyons should NOT be on the BBC trust.

    I could easily find you 100’s if not 1000’s of people with a greater capacity than himself who would do the job better and for a lot less of both arrogance and costs to the tax payer!

    Just because he is the ‘Pal’ of those in power does not mean that he should get the job – which in this interview he has clearly demonstrated that he simply does not have the capacity nor the sensitivity to undertake! If he was interviewed for his position on the BBC Trust then those who recruited him should be brought to account!

    He has the audacity to say he is also employed by other companies which means he is being paid a huge amount for a part-time job!

    £70,000 expenses for 6 months is not just outrageous - it is CRIMINAL!

    If the BBC Trust cannot find better talent than Michael Lyons then they should let the public 'elect' people to the positions on the BBC Trust! You will find all the talent you could possibly want through this open and transparent process!

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  • 20. At 11:00am on 10 Sep 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Who was interviewing who today exactly ?

    Rename Victoria's show after Michael Lyons.

    He sounds like a frustrated broadcaster and spin machine.

    No accountablility..... just waffle.

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  • 21. At 11:13am on 10 Sep 2009, terrasludge wrote:

    1/ Whatever the reduction (if any) it had better not touch the news and journalism service. In fact I'd pay the entire fee for an improved service that observed and factually reported on the behaviour of all business and government. The day that happens I take to the streets.

    2/ If I felt the commercial sector in its never ending search for increased shareholder profits, had done anything significant over the years other than lead the way in to dumbed-down, gossip-based, mass-produced effluent, then I might consider the proposition.

    The commercial sector needs to take a long hard look at itself; not try and bring down the last remaining standard bearer that blocks the way to further reductions in quality for the sake profit. Personally, I'd pay more and put them all out of their misery.

    That's it. Ta!

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  • 22. At 11:20am on 10 Sep 2009, TokyoJack wrote:

    Why don't we have a talent spotting television show where the public can vote for the members of the BBC Trust: X-ecutive Factor maybe? Then we would also need the "You've been fired" version and may I suggest a name for that show? You'll never guess: Sir Michael Lyons.

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  • 23. At 11:36am on 10 Sep 2009, Clap Your Hands Say Hleb! wrote:

    Actually, I don't expect senior executives to stay in Travel Lodges or use the Tube, but...

    * Why are there so many 'jollies' where the BBC feel the need to send countless 'talent' and backroom staff for the perceived benefit of their viewers/listeners? EG Why cover Glastonbury (as well as Reading/Leeds among other festivals) and have numerous radio shows coming from there. It smacks of wasteful 'jollies' to me.

    * The BBC overpays its 'talent', always has done. If Ant n Dec (genuine TV talent) have their salaries cut, then so should the legions of mediocre presenters that the BBC employ.

    * The 'me-too' approach to creative broadcasting beggars belief. The BBC TV output is at an all-time low.

    * The BBC also overpays its senior executives, including Michael Lyons. How can someone who has worked for years in local government (another bloated institution) add the sharp commercial acumen required to critically appraise the BBC?

    I think the licence fee is excellent value but severe cost-cutting is long overdue.

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  • 24. At 12:29pm on 10 Sep 2009, clifran wrote:

    I have no doubt that Mr Murdoch is sincere in what he says. The underlying ideology is the purpose of making rich families richer,a modern american idea in which privatisation feeds the breakdown of the welfare state via the domination of media and the funding of the think tanks that feed right wing legislation. The U.K. however is hampered in this by the institution of the BBC considered a thorn in the side of "free" marketeers. My view is which organisation has contributed more to british cultural life between SKY broadcasting and the BBC? Which represents the best value for money? Which is the most impartial? Which is truly the most independent?I am afraid that i think Sky does not come out very well under this criteria and would do well to improve the core product rather than the attempted sabotage of competitors. I dearly hope that the nation"s re-appraisal of the virtues of the BBC remain in place come the inevitable attacks by an inevitable incoming Conservative government.

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  • 25. At 1:54pm on 10 Sep 2009, RON wrote:

    Hi Victoria Ron hear again Love and England.Do we love Capello.Did we love Sir Alf our most successful England Manager.I think we can grow to love Capello.I did love Zola and Vialli when they were with Chelsea,even now their warmth and humility when interviewed comes across.Capello is like a General hands behind his back giving his orders to his troops in the field of battle.One of his endearing traits is he can't speak proper English but unlike Scholari we know what he means.He has brought discipline and organization to the England side even moulding players that couldn't play winning football under Sven and Steve Mclaren.We can only judge a performance on what is in front of us Croatia were hit by injuries and suspensions Glen Johnson is a concern,will Gary Neville come back.Has David James been frozen out and will Becks go to South Africa? At the moment we are a good side not yet a great side!

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  • 26. At 2:19pm on 10 Sep 2009, Birbeck wrote:

    The BBC is an internationally-respected Company, however, let's not fool ourselves that it's run as the non-commercial, not-for-profit institution that initially set out to be; often people say 'it's good value for money - it only works out to blah blah blah per person'! It makes enormous income home and abroad from selling programmes, books, overseas cable subscription etc, eg even Teletubbies programmes and toys alone has generated £millions for it and the creator all over the world! So many still think it relies solely on our licence fee to keep going; it seems the ever increasing licence fee has merely helped them have too employ too many suited staff, have far more behind-the-scenes staff for sporting events and even the simple chat/music radio shows than commercial radio & TV companies; our licence money also pays obscenely high wages to some of its 'star' employees. The only difference is that the BBC has the added bonus and safety-net of being assured extra income from us! Yes, give a portion to the commercial sector.

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  • 27. At 2:20pm on 10 Sep 2009, Gavin Corder wrote:

    Perhaps he'd like to use his influence to accommodate the thousands of people who would just like to have a message board on which they can discuss Radio 5 Live again.

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  • 28. At 2:54pm on 10 Sep 2009, Binkie wrote:

    The usual spin the BBC comes out with about the licence fee is that it only costs 38 pence a day.

    What they carefully omit, which Lyons did this morning, is that if you don't pay it you are threatened and could possibly end up in prison.

    Enjoy your 4 star accommodation won't you Sir Michael ...

    ....we're paying for it, like it or not.

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  • 29. At 12:46pm on 11 Sep 2009, ganilly wrote:

    Interesting that you had a number of people griping about the chairman's salary and in almost the next item you casually dropped into a conversation the fact that Capello is earning £6million a year - just for looking after a crowd of over paid prima donnas who "earn" their living kicking a ball about. And it should be added a huge number of those players earn twice as much in a WEEK as the PM does in a year.

    Come on guys, get your priorities right

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  • 30. At 9:39pm on 17 Nov 2009, Matt Sherberg wrote:

    No wonder the country has a carefree attitude towards money and finances. Too many people getting stupid pay for not much work. People need to see others getting a reasonable pay for the job they do and only then will they become responsible for there own finances.. The bbc should take the lead on this and give people like Johnathan Ross and others a right old pay cut..

    Debt Relief Online

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