TV Licensing reveals top moments “worth the licence fee”

Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

The top TV moments from shows most valued by Licence Fee payers have been revealed by TV Licensing.

The BBC’s Line of Duty series, filmed in Belfast, made it to fourth place in the top ten, but it was the dancing bears from Planet Earth II that clinched first place in the list of memorable TV moments Twitter users noted as “worth the licence fee”. The phrase was used by more than 5,000 licence fee payers in the past year to recognise moments viewers truly appreciated in return for the licence fee, according to data gathered by TV Licensing over the past year.

Ed Balls strutting his stuff

Ed Balls strutting his stuff

Noteworthy scenes from Strictly Come Dancing also made the list, with more than 100 tweets affirming Ed Balls’ salsa routine to ‘Gangnam Style’ was ‘worth the licence fee alone’. BBC drama Poldark ranked third, as dozens of Licence Fee payers said Aidan Turner’s “spellbinding” “splendid” and “shirtless” performance was worth the fee.


The second Planet Earth II moment lauded by viewers was one unforgettable sequence featuring a newly-hatched marine iguana running the gauntlet of racer snakes to reach the sea.

Over 5,000 payers gave the thumbs-up to standout TV moments and programmes they felt were worth the licence fee in the past year.

Karen Grimason, spokesperson for TV Licensing NI, said: “This shows just how much viewers value BBC programmes – whether it’s magic moments on Planet Earth II or the sparkle of Strictly. While lots of people tweet as they watch the programme live, there are also plenty who catch up later, so it’s important to remember that you now need a TV licence even if you’re watching BBC programmes on iPlayer.”

The top ten programmes and series viewers said were ‘worth the licence fee’ in 2016/17 have also been revealed by TV Licensing. The second season of Planet Earth, which returned to screens last autumn, topped the chart, with more than 2,000 Licence Fee payers tweeting the series was worth the fee (around 40p a day). More than 340 viewers agreed BBC One’s The Missing was ‘worth the licence fee’, with audiences particularly enthralled by its final moments.

NI viewer @BellaTranslate said “The Missing - every TV channel in Europe needs to buy the rights to that series. Worth every penny of the licence fee. #EpicActing”.

But it was Planet Earth that got @_PatchAdams from Belfast talking “If #planetearth2 was the only programme the #BBC made, it’s worth the licence fee. #DavidAttenborough #AmazingTelly #BBCOne”

According to TV Licensing research conducted from October to December last year, when asked about the value of the licence fee, 50 per cent of respondents said the TV Licence represented good value for money, up from 44 per cent from Jan to March 2016 and the highest approval rating recorded to date1.


A colour TV Licence currently costs £147 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV. This also means that a TV Licence is also needed to watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer This applies whether using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.

You can visit the TV Licensing website to find more information about when you need a TV Licence.