Scores of ridiculous and flawed real-life excuses given to TV Licensing by people in Yorkshire who have been caught watching TV or BBC iPlayer without a licence over the past year have been revealed.
Around 94% of UK homes are correctly licensed - but a small minority continue to offer enquiry officers flimsy excuses as to why they don’t have a licence when caught evading.
Top excuses in the area ranged from: “It’s only for the dog, it stops him howling when I’m out – I put it straight off when I come back in as there’s nowt on” to “I don’t need a TV licence, I have a shotgun.”
Dozens of tenuous excuses were collected from across the country.
A man from Hull said: “I only use it to put photos on it!” and a man from Middlesbrough said: “I couldn't get to the shop to pay as I've been constipated so missed a few payments.”
Matthew Thompson, TV Licensing spokesperson in the North, said: “We make every effort to find evaders and although excuses we hear can be ingenious, those we catch still need to buy a licence.
“We offer help to those struggling to buy and would much rather people buy a TV Licence in small weekly or monthly instalments, than face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
“A licence is needed not just for watching and recording live television but for watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer.”
A TV Licence costs £147 and can be bought online at tvlicensing.co.uk/info or by calling 0300 790 6071.
TV Licensing – Top 10 excuses of the past year
"Sorry, I can’t buy a licence because I’m giving CPR to my goldfish"
"My tag interferes with the TV signal"
"I don’t watch the BBC [as the theme tune to EastEnders played out in the background]"
"I only watch Premier League football, and as I am a Newcastle fan, I no longer need a TV Licence"
"I only use it to put photos on it"
"I don’t need a TV Licence because when we got divorced a court gave her half of everything so I got the TV and she got the licence. Go find her!"
"I am exempt from buying a TV Licence, as I am Prince Harry’s girlfriend."
"I am not paying for my licence now that the BBC are showing porn. Gary Lineker in the nude on Match of the Day – disgusting!"
[With reference to a flat screen TV showing the Simpsons] Customer: "It's not a TV, it's an LCD fire."
Enquiry Officer: "And it's got Bart Simpson-shaped flames."
"I only have one leg, I shouldn’t have to pay"