AFTER Boris Johnson made the TV licence an election issue, saying it needs "looking at", what now for the fee in the challenging era of streaming?

The licence fee is nearly 100 years old?

In the UK, an annual licence fee of 10 shillings was first introduced under the Wireless Telegraphy Act in November 1923.

When did the licence cover TV?

The first combined radio and TV licence was issued in June 1946 for £2 when television broadcasts resumed following a break due to World War Two.

Colour came in?

In 1967 and on January 1, 1968, a £5 “colour supplement” was added to the existing monochrome licence.

It funds the BBC?

Yes, the BBC is primarily financed by the licence fee, supplemented by income from its commercial subsidiaries.

The BBC took over administration in the 1990s?

In 1991, it assumed responsibility for collection and enforcement from the Post Office.

When do you need a licence?

If you watch or record shows as they are being shown live in the UK. You also need one if you use BBC iPlayer. A licence is required regardless of the device being used to watch TV – whether it's a tablet, phone or console, for example. But you don't need a licence if you are only watching catch-up – unless it's on iPlayer.

But more Brits are turning to streaming?

Between 2014 and 2018, around 3.5 million Brits cancelled their TV licence fee, with people turning to subscription services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Why is it in the news this year?

In June, the BBC announced that free TV licences for over-75s were being scrapped. Under the new rules, only low income households where one person is in receipt of pension credit benefit will still be eligible for the free licence. It followed an announcement by the government in 2015 that the BBC would take over the cost of providing free licences for over-75s by next year. This would cost £745 million - a fifth of the BBC's budget by 2021/22.

The move sparked an outcry?

Charity Age UK expressed concern, saying one in four over-65s say the TV is their main form of companionship, adding: “If this scheme goes ahead we are going to see sick and disabled people in their 80s and 90s who are completely dependent on their cherished TV for companionship and news forced to give it up."

What has the PM said?

Asked whether a Tory government would abolish TV licence fees for everybody this week, Mr Johnson said “what I certainly think is that the BBC should cough up and pay for the licences for the over-75s as they promised to do.

"But at this stage we are not planning to get rid of all TV licence fees, though I am certainly looking at it.”

But the BBC has support from some?

Veteran BBC broadcaster, John Simpson, tweeted: “The licence fee IS the BBC. Scrap it, and the BBC as it has always existed will disappear.”