An old BBC advert has gone viral after the culture secretary’s announcement that “this licence fee announcement will be the last” amid reports it will be frozen for the next two years.

The annual payment, which normally changes on April 1 each year, is expected to be kept at the current rate of £159 until April 2024.

The 1986 advert, which has now been viewed over two million times, is a parody of the “what have the Romans ever done for us?” sketch from Monty Python.

Monty Python star John Cleese features in the star-studded advert, where he’s reminded of the vast amount of content the BBC produces by famous faces such as national treasure David Attenborough, broadcasters David Dimbleby and Moira Stuart, actor David Jason, snooker player Steve Davis, astronomer Patrick Moore, and funnymen The Two Ronnies.

The advert was shared by the likes of actor and presenter Adil Ray and former footballer and current sports broadcaster Gary Lineker.

Lineker tweeted: “The BBC is revered, respected and envied around the world. It should be the most treasured of National treasures. Something true patriots of our country should be proud of. It should never be a voice for those in government whoever is in power.”

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BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker also spoke out, tweeting: “I am well aware that the BBC makes mistakes and needs to change but the media landscape would be much poorer without it. Those 3 letters are trusted and respected around the world.”

He also added: “43p a day” alongside a picture of BBC’s services.

Several other celebrities such as actor Hugh Grant and comedian Rachel Parris also made their feelings known:

This follows Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries indicating that she wants to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.

On Twitter, she wrote: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors, are over.

“Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

The licence fee is set by the government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 1 2017.

According to Mail Online the BBC earns £3.2 billion a year through licence fees, but after 2027 the fee could be replaced by a new funding model.

Additional reporting by PA.

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