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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

The future of the BBC: in conversation with Lucy Powell

The future of the BBC: in conversation with Lucy Powell

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.

When Nadine Dorries tweeted that the most recent licence fee announcement “would be the last” it was seen as an indication that the TV licence model would be dropped in 2027. While she later rowed back on her statement, it reignited the debate about how a public service broadcaster should be funded in the subscription age.

The voices calling for the abolition of the licence fee are getting louder. Is the BBC failing to make output that competes with other services, or is it just doing a bad job of making the case for public service broadcasting? When the discussion turns to choice, does the question around the licence fee become more about psychology, rather than cost? The BBC has an uncertain future. The culture secretary will play an important role in how the broadcaster changes going forward — but will this be in the capacity of cheerleader, guardian, critic, or nemesis? 

editor and invited experts

James Harding
Co-Founder and Editor

Lucy Powell
Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport