A man in Preston was today recovering from shock after receiving a TV Licence bill addressed to his dog.
Arthur Ramsbottom went to his front door to pick up his mail when he noticed an envelope from the TV Licensing Authorities. 'I was flicking through each envelope' he told us, 'when I came across a letter from the TV Licence people. I thought to myself that it was a mistake as I'd already paid my licence fee just a month ago then I noticed that the address on the envelope wasn't actually mine.'
'It was addressed to 'The Kennel' c/o my address. That's where my old dog, Mr Campbell lives. It seems the BBC is expecting my dog to cough up £142.50 to watch television', he laughed.
Mr Ramsbottom went on to explain that he regularly received mail for his dog after he built the kennel for his pet and registered it with the post office as an actual address.
'I had to build it because Mr Campbell was becoming too much of a handful to keep in the house all day. I named him Mr Campbell because when he was a puppy he was the spitting image of the Labour Party spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, with those big sad eyes and droopy face. But as he got older he became a deceitful little bugger, always trying to pull a fast one behind my back then trying to cover up his misdemeanours by looking at me as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. The final straw came when he started crying openly when we had visitors and he'd quite often have little accidents when he got over excited.'
'So I decided it was time he moved out. But to make him feel at home in his new dwellings, I made the kennel look like a miniature house with a front door and letterbox. I built him a little bed, a comfy sofa, and I even put an old TV in there to keep him company when he was lonely. I'm guessing that's why the TV licence demand turned up because the detector van must have been doing the rounds and spotted the TV aerial on his roof.'
Mr Ramsbottom says he will definitely appeal. 'I don't think my dog really understands what he watches on TV, apart from the stuff on BBC3 although he might be a bit too intellectual for that rubbish', he chuckled. 'Besides, I thought dogs could only see in black and white so surely he should only be billed 48 pounds instead of the full amount. Come to think of it, he's over 75 years old, in doggie years, so he shouldn't actually have to pay any money at all.'
A spokesperson told us 'We are always looking at new ways to increase revenue so that we can continually improve and provide a top quality service for the public. However, on this occasion I think we will be able to come to some agreement with Mr Ramsbottom. We might even make a documentary about him and get Kerry Katona to present it or something.'