Only having the TV on for a parrot and coming from another planet are just two of the excuses people in the East Midlands have used for not having a TV licence.
The list of the most ludicrous excuses for 2015 have proved useful for some people though - students at five UK universities have created animations based on them for a national competition.
Among the excuses used was ‘Yes, the TV is on but I don’t watch it. It’s only on for my parrot, Captain Jack Sparrow, who is learning the theme tune to Bargain Hunt’ and ‘It’s not my TV. I was burgled. They stole my television and put this one in its place,’ which a resident in Nottinghamshire used to explain why they hadn’t paid.
Alternatively, people have claimed to be a hologram from the TV programme Red Dwarf, a person called Mork from Mars and even that their hamster has eaten their payment card.
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for the Midlands and East Midlands, said: “The students’ animations are highly imaginative but we’re not so impressed with the creative approach to excuses, as watching or recording live TV without a licence is against the law.
“Even though we’re effective at catching evaders, we’d always prefer people pay than risk a maximum £1,000 fine. For those who may find it difficult to pay in one go, we offer a range of payment options to spread the cost, sign up at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo.”
Degree course students in Derby are amongst those who have worked their magic on animating the excuses for non-payment.
Prizes will be awarded for the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Award, made by a panel of animation industry experts.
The winner of the People’s Choice film will be based on the highest number of ‘likes’ received on the TV Licensing YouTube channel with viewers having until March 4 to vote for their favourite.