back to article BBC must reveal EastEnders costs

The Information Commissioner's Office has ordered the BBC to release information about the salaries of the stars and other staff at soap opera EastEnders. The Beeb had previously refused to give out the information, which was requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The corporation said salary data was not covered by the …

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If its so great, why does it have to be compulsory?

Why do we not take the BBC into pay-tv? Isn't this where it belongs? You want to watch it, subscribe. You don't, don't.

People are all the time saying how much they like it. I like it too. That doesn't mean it should be compulsory to subscribe to it. I like sardines in hot chile sauce. I don't demand that everyone in the country should pay £5 a week and take delivery of a couple of tins, whether they like them, or not, whether they eat them or not.

What is with you guys? Why do you want to make everyone buy what you want to buy? Do you want people to subsidize your particular brand of car, or bands, or newspapers too?

What I want is for me to be able to subscribe, without feeling I am ripping off everyone who is now forced to, but doesn't want it. Like, why should broadcasting be any different from any other service which I buy or not, as I feel inclined?

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Coat

who are these people

aaah 'deadenders' dumb program written by well meaning middle class types with no 'idea' how 'ordinary' people live apart from some fluffy image they have of the great unwashed spending all of their time in the pub and never locking their doors..aah the salt of the earth..

and another thing.. if they all work on market stalls and in 'said' pub how come they own properties which would be worth close half a million in the current market..

i'll get mi donkey jacket n'all..i'm off down't pit.

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BBC ain't awful

@Andy Senyszyn

According to the license agency you should pay the tax wether you have TV or not. Nice little bullies.

Okay, I don't have TV, so don't pay the license - but for what you get it is fair money.

However, money aside, beastenders (oh sorry, beast makers) is a horrific pile of crap. The show sets the example that vicious nasty bitching is the way forwards. It should be forced to calm down and show functional families actually enjoying life. More viewers would follow suit. They can still have drama, there's plenty to be had for nice happy people, just ban this 'lets turn the country into uncaring nasty little shits' drive.

BBC should be used to educate (news, infomercials and learning - Robot wars but with a more design oriented view), and make sure people keep laughing. Comedies like RedDwarf and Bl'adders were brilliant, and more like that would be great (laughter IS important for the health).

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Re: £12/month? That's a bargain for what you get!

I gave up the TV (and am not all that suprised to find that the BBC spend £351m in collecting the money) when they dumbed down all the informational stuff, upped the buy-in and the soap quotient and THEN paid camelot to put their ball-bouncing idiot tax machine on the BBC rather than ITV.

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Pirate

If you like the BBC so much why don't you go and live there?

I came here to say that it's not so much the cost, it's that they affect not to KNOW how much.

Given that my central point's already been made, Here's another (slighter) one: If the BBC's as marvellous as some people think it is, it should presumably be able to hold its own in a commercial environment - so why don't we make the licence fee optional and make the broadcasts encrypted in the same way that (for example) UK Gold et al are on Freeview right now?

Bear in mind also that the licence fee is subsidizing the BBC's gingantic online operation, which is available worldwide, but only paid for by UK television owners.

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Loss of custom to other companies

I wonder how many other companies (such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, ITV, Sky, Virgin Media etc) are losing business through people refusing to own a TV due to a compulsory TV tax (which is all going to the BBC)?

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A Discerning Viewer

At an age in single figures (can't remember if I was 6 or 8) my mother caught me glued to the test card. She asked why it was that I didn't watch one of the other (two) channels and my reply was, "there's nothing better on". We have more channels today, but there is still nothing better on. I miss the test card (There is a webpage dedicated to it if anyone is interested).

I missed it so much I dumped the telly a few years ago and now can say in all honesty that the licence fee is worth every single penny... that I don't pay. As for Eastenders, I hated that crap from the very start and grew to despise every actor that "graced" it's scripts as it degenerated quickly into a hideous parody of the worst in antisocial behaviour, constant verbal bullying and a succesion of miserable Christmas specials. When I travel to the ancestral pile I like to call my second home (every couple of months) I get an opportunity to catch up on the soaps... it takes about 30 seconds per flavour. Then it's news24 or a movie.

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re: Loss of custom to other companies

I suspect the loss Virgin/Sky/etc are under are due to having even WORSE shite on than the BBC.

In fact, the main reason why the BBC is getting so crap is because they are told they have to chase ratings to justify themselves. Which means the follow the mouth-breathing lowest common denominator.

They only stay alive because so many mouth-breathers MUST WATCH FOOTBALL and Sky bid up to cover every single match. So BBC2 gets to cover snooker or Extreme Macrame.

Check the difference between the intellectually stimulating stuff of the 80's like

De Bono's thinking course

Equinox

Tomorrows world

Horizon

Life on Earth

compared with the dross you get now (TW toward the end was TERRIBLE). All the intellectual stuff is no "infotainment" with whizzy graphics and no substance.

Because they're chasing ratings and if you aim low, you include the low-brow and mid-brow and for some level of boredom, the high-brow clientele. But if you aim for the high-brow, the low-brow can't follow.

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Happy

The BBC is a world leading service and should be cherished.

Yet more beeb bashing from Register readers. This is what happens when you spoil children, they are never happy. Travel a bit, go to Europe, America (especially), Australia, Asia, anywhere, and you will find watching the TV a lot worse than here. You will also find a large number of BBC programmes.

Take away the BBC and the other terrestrial TV stations would descend into what SKY and plenty of the other digital channels are. 5 minutes of programming spaced with 5 minutes of adverts, it is HIGHLY annoying. (Watch gladiators and see what I mean).

Soon people will be wishing they had the BBC back.

@Louis Cowan

Probably a negligible amount.

At least we don't have state owned TV. Like Iran et al.

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jim

It's not that bad really

For the 3 or 4 programmes on BBC that I watch, I think it's good value for money. If I was paying for any of the other channels, like Channel 4 for instance, then I would be aggrieved. Apart from Gordon Ramsay there categorically isn't any other regular programming I deem "worth watching" on 3, 4 or 5. At least we get some sort of variety, but maybe that's where the problem lies. Not everyone will like everything that's on the BBC and we seem to live in a country where a lot of people like to make out how "hard done by" they are. I'd rather pay a tenner a month to watch 2 or 3 decent shows a week and the occasional film that aren't interrupted by some plank telling me how amazing their hairspray, toothpaste, cars etc... are every 15 minutes.

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@ JAMES...

"Yet more beeb bashing from Register readers. This is what happens when you spoil children, they are never happy. Travel a bit, go to Europe, America (especially), Australia, Asia, anywhere, and you will find watching the TV a lot worse than here. You will also find a large number of BBC programmes." - this is one of our point mate. you get to see stuff WE have to PAY for...

we are forced to pay ~£120/year for 2 channels (3 and 4 never have anything on when i look - apart from 2 pints and a packet of crisps) - they cannot spread their content over 2 channels yet feel the need to have 4 and HD. HD is almost always just repeats of music (which isnt as bad as it sounds as its dolby digital signal - cat steven was on recently and was AMAZING!)

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Paris Hilton

Are you all Males ?

I think you probably are.

I have never watched it, but my Wife and Daughter do.

This is in NZ, must be some nostalgia for the old countryl

My Wife even loves the Royal Family.

I love Paris.

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@ jim

"If I was paying for any of the other channels, like Channel 4 for instance, then I would be aggrieved."

You ARE paying for Channel 4. Every time you go shopping. You are also paying for ITV1,2 3 and 4, and you are also paying for Sky, whether or not you are a subscriber.

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@pctechxp

You might like to check out this link

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/damp_nickers/blog/2008/03/14/i_refused_to_pay_a_tv_licence_and_will_continue_to_do_so

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jim

@ Stratman

I go shopping for important supplies and stuff. Like food and cleaning products. I don't know what the money I spend in supermarkets or clothes shops or music stores get spent on. Nor do I really care, I have the products I paid for so they can dio whatever like with the money I gave them as it is technically theirs anyway. If they use some of it to pay Channel 4 for advertising space on a show that I don't watch to advertise a product I've already bought then the joke's on them in my book.

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jim

@Michael

So what do you do when you buy a pint of milk? Ask for a complete transcript of where your 60-70p is going after it has left your pocket?

I'm also pretty sure that me not caring what supermarkets give out for advertising isn't going to cause me to lose my job. Where I work don't have shares in retail. Or Channel 4. A few too many presumptions there, or one too many at least.

So a bit of TV is funded from money used by us to buy stuff, loads of other things are funded by similar means. Its called free enterprise. Where have you been?

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@Liam

That sums up the problem really well. I watch BBC3/BBC4 a lot more than I watch 1/2 anymore. I watch BBC News a reasonable amount as well.

I saw an interesting topic that was due to be covered in Horizon a few weeks back - and regret watching it. It's reduced to the level of a US docu-soap. The "investigations" are so shallow it's painful, the "human factor" is more important than the facts, and heaven forbid that the results not match the flashy title that someone seems to have picked in advance.

To my mind '2 pints and a packet of crisps' is pointless drivel - in the same league as 'stenders and 'The ONE Show'. However, I appreciate that there are a fair number of people in the UK that DO like them (like you for at least one of the shows), and therefore since I live in a democracy I have to accept that my voice can be "out-voted". Since it means I do get shows like Dr Who, Torchwood, QI (thank god for QI), and Top Gear (my escapism/'dross') it seems like a small price to pay.

My one complaint - the 'good' programs seem to be "dumbing down" to meet popular demand, rather than existing to inform. This (I can only assume) is to increase their appeal to other countries, and therefore increase the revenue that the BBC gets from selling them elsewhere.

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