'The TV is to keep the cat warm - we don't watch it'
Dec 7 2004
Tryst Williams, Western Mail
A VISIT from Anne Robinson and bizarre ways of entertaining the children and keeping the cat warm are among the latest excuses to be used by Welsh TV licence dodgers.
As part of TV Licensing's war on non-payers, officials have revealed the five lamest excuses heard by inspectors across the nation over the past year.
Their top five was:
1. "No, that's not a TV you can hear in the background, it's a tape of adverts I play to entertain the children" - licence evader, Aberystwyth;
2. "The TV is to keep the cat warm - we don't watch it" - licence evader, Carmarthen
3. "That's not the Weakest Link in the background. Anne Robinson is a friend who is visiting for tea" - licence evader, North Wales;
4. "It's amazing, you're the first person to find this place. We didn't get a licence because we thought you wouldn't find us" - licence evader, Brecon;
5. "I only watch Sky channels so I don't need a licence" - licence evader, Cardiff.
Officials warned that a summer crackdown had resulted in more than 10,000 people in Wales being caught without licences over the past six months.
Michelle Hughes, spokeswoman for TV Licensing in Wales, said, "The cheeky excuses given never cease to amaze our enquiry officers.
"But people should remember that they just won't get away with it.
"If you're caught without a TV licence then you risk a trip to court and a fine of up to £1,000.
"However, we would always prefer people to buy a licence rather than risk prosecution."
Previous examples of excuses given to enquiry officers include:
"Just because I have a satellite dish on my house, doesn't mean I've got a TV - I've got two pints of milk on my doorstep, but no cow in my garden."
"God told me I must buy the television as he had a very important message for me - he didn't tell me to buy a licence though."
"You'll never get me in court, I'll say I'm insane and pretend to be a helicopter."