“I was too busy with the Bingo to set up a TV Licence.” is just one of the imaginative real-life excuses given to TV Licensing by people caught watching live TV over the past year in Sheffield.
Other far-fetched excuses to come from the area include “My husband gave me the TV Licensing money and I spent it on my new Kurt Geiger shoes”.
The people of Sheffield are not alone in offering implausible excuses for not having a TV Licence. One chap in Yorkshire claimed: “I only put the TV set on to drown out the noise of my neighbours arguing all day”, while someone else claimed “It's only the kids who watch TV and they only watch on their Kinder Eggs (sic).”
Other excuses from the region include:
“I don't need to buy a licence because I am getting married.”
“I have an injured leg which is in a cast. I was scratching my leg under the
plaster with my payment card, and it fell in! And now I can't get it!”
“I am a vicar, part of the clergy. Why do I have to pay?”
(Answers the door) “I'm homeless so I don't need one.”
“I don’t have to pay as I am the King of Scotland.”
I have a black and white licence. I only turn the colour on when my granddaughter comes and puts the music channels on, then I turn the colour off
when she has gone.”
Matthew Thompson, TV Licensing spokesperson in the North, said: “We’re impressed with the creativity some people show when coming up with an excuse but it’s important to remember that watching or recording live TV without a licence is against the law.
“Even though we’re effective at catching evaders, we’d always prefer people pay than risk a maximum £1,000 fine. For those who may find it difficult to pay in one go, we
offer a range of payment options to spread the cost, Sign up at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo.”
The interesting excuses have been picked up by leading universities across the country who are competing to bring them to life as animations as part of a national competition.
In a quest to find the best excuse degree course students have worked their creative magic on some of the dubious explanations and created animation videos.
A panel of animation industry experts will be judging the videos with prizes awarded for the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Award.
More than 40 excuses films have been submitted from students across the UK. View and vote for your favourite animation at youtube.com/tvlicensing
To check if a licence is needed, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info or call 0300