If you avoided paying the license fee by solely watching programmes on iPlayer, you’ll soon find yourself paying the £145.50 fee as well.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has laid out the Government's plans to reform the BBC and one of the changes includes closing the loophole that is said to have cost the BBC millions of pounds in revenue - the ability to avoid paying the licence fee if you only use iPlayer.

That said, Mr Whittingdale did also say that in the long-term the license fee would become “less sustainable” and new ways to generate income would have to be uncovered.

The Government said back in March that new legislation would see online TV viewers forced to pay the license fee and sure enough this will now be happening, potentially using a password system. The date for the change has yet to be confirmed.

More after the break

Other changes to the BBC laid out in the Royal Charter include ensuring a minimum amount of “distinctive content” - rather than programming that solely chases ratings - and a target of 15 per cent of lead acting roles to be filled by black and ethic minorities, and 50 per cent of roles by women, by 2020.

The BBC will also now be regulated by Ofcom instead of the BBC Trust.

Mr Whittingdale said the BBC “is and must always remain at the very heart of British life” and the changes are to enable “the BBC to thrive, to make fantastic programmes for audiences and to act as an engine for growth and creativity”.

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