BBC Considers Enlisting Helen Mirren to Persuade Older Viewers to Voluntarily Pay License Fee (Report)

Helen Mirren Tony Awards Red Carpet - P 2015
AP Images

Helen Mirren Tony Awards Red Carpet - P 2015

Brits over the age of 75 are exempt from paying the annual fee, with the U.K. public broadcaster last summer agreeing to shoulder the financial burden for that in the coming years.

The BBC is considering signing up stars, including Helen Mirren, to participate in a potential campaign to persuade TV viewers over the age of 75 to voluntarily pay the U.K. public broadcaster's license fees.

The Guardian reported that the idea is part of the BBC's explorations of ways to encourage viewers over the age of 75, who are exempt from the fee, to pay the £145.50 ($207.40) on a voluntary basis.

Last summer, the BBC, in a deal with the British government, agreed to take on the costs of providing free TV licenses to people over 75. That is expected to cost it more than $1 billion starting in 2020.

The Guardian said no stars have been signed up for the campaign yet.

"The BBC has asked independent experts to advise on how to go about attracting voluntary contributions from over 75s when the government reduces its support," the Guardian quoted a BBC spokesman as saying. "The work will include analysis and interviewing a range of stakeholders. It will look at options for receiving payments and explore best practice in other organizations. The BBC will then look at the best way forward, including whether to run a campaign."