EXCLUSIVE By Frances Leate

A CHANGE in satellite settings that will lead to the loss of popular British TV channels has caused uproar amongst British expats and prompted a call for immediate action from a member of the Royal Family.

Baroness Hilde Von Voss, a member of the Austrian-Hungarian Royal Family and a distant relative to The Queen, has written a stern letter to the BBC asking for an explanation for the change, which has already deleted Channel Five overnight.

In the letter she said: “I am amazed to find that some changes to the satellite system are going to deprive hundreds of thousands of loyal British Citizens the ability to see BBC television where they have been previously able to do it.

“I’m included in this unfortunate group.”

The Baroness said she believed many people would rather pay a fee through a ‘viewing card’ to keep the service than lose it.

She added: “I had to move to southern Spain due to ill-health but was consoled by being able to see South Today and other BBC programmes.

“Even if this is unavoidable, whose cruel idea was it to do it just before Christmas?”

BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and Channel Four are also expected to follow suit next year, which would leave many unable to watch popular shows including EastEnders and X Factor.



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  1. If you want to watch bbc programmes, on a subscription basis, then it already exists – subscribe to bbcentertainment.com which carries BBC content.

    The bbc, and all the other uk broadcasters, have no obligation to make their main channels available to anywhere apart from the UK. Any reception outside the UK has been a “bonus”.

    And if you look, the BBC posted information about this change – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/posts/Changes-to-BBC-Satellite-transponders-in-2013 – which is due to the old satellites needing replacing, and the new ones simply have a better “uk only beam” than the old ones.

  2. @Kev leaving the UK does not mean you cease to be British. If you now consider yourself Spanish – well done you must be very proud ! Was it the history of Democracy in Spain that attracted you or maybe the support for Fascism and Naziism before you were born turned you on ? is it the tradition of animal cruelty , the fatty sausages , the fizzy beer that makes Spain such a superior nation for you ? No ? let me guess – It’s the weather and the cost of living , just like every other hypocritical Brit sunning themselves over there and drinking cheap wine while claiming to have left Britain for ‘aesthetic reasons’. I live in London surrounded by Polish delicatessens , Indian supermarkets , and Pakistani outfitters. Are they all wrong too ? Stop being so insufferably smug and sanctimonious and let people watch whatever TV they want.

  3. If the UK government is not prepared to give British ex pats parliamentary representation like the Americans and the French what makes people think they will give a fig about what TV you can get in Spain. Basically the majority of people still in the UK regard ex pats as traitors who should be stripped of their pensions and benefits so I don’t think you will get any sympathy there.

  4. 1: channel 5 was “not* deleted – it was moved to the new satellite.

    2: bbc are *not* responsible for the move, they do not own the satellite system.

    p.s. i do sympathise with people who need their telly, the old folks especially.

  5. I have a serious lung problem and the weather in Sain helps. I live in Spain for about 5 months of the year and England the rest. I therefore pay my full TV License Fee. If the BBC stops our viewing in Spain I bet they will not give a rebate.

  6. rapp – your tv licence is for the reception of radio and tv transmissions within the british isles… the bbc are not stopping viewing in spain’.. like someone else said, it’s just luck that the satellite reached us in spain until now, nothing else.
    p.s. sorry to hear of your condition, i’m an asthmatic and that’s bad enough.

  7. why should the uk give British ex pats parliamentary representation?? they may have paid tax in the uk at some point but they don’t any more. why should someone who has chosen to leave their country of birth have any say in the running of the country? i bet these are the same people who haven’t registered officially in spain, like the thousands living permanently on the costas in their ‘holiday homes’ who refuse to register for padron, etc..

  8. It’s nothing to do with the BBC. What a daft article. It’s the Sky broadcasting satellite… that’s watched illegally in Spain. There will always be ways. watching channels via the internet will become a lot easier etc. You’ve been watching BBC illegally for years and paying no licence if you live in Spain so best be quiet.

  9. @ kevin f Total rubbish I may have left the UK but I still pay UK taxes so I believe I am entitled to representation unlike those who have never paid taxes and suckle off the teets of the welfare state and whose only interest in politics is finding out which party is going to give them the most benefits off the backs of those who do pay taxes. You will no doubt be campaigning for Britain to leave the EU and chuckle with joy if ex pats have to return to broken Britain. People move abroad for many reasons and mine was because I saw the writing on the wall when Labour won a second term and also because I knew my pension which I contributed for forty years for would go further than in rip off Britain. Finally I am fully registered in Spain and my name is on the padron. I don’t know where you are living but if it is in the UK you obviously only come on here to spit out your anti ex pat venom.

  10. They should round up all the Eastender/Any other crappy soapy Uk TV programme watchers that live in Spain and stick them on a boat and ship them back to their homeland if that’s what they want, just haven’t got the time for them, what are they going to do when their English produce is no longer available in those crappy English shops in Spain ( Bog off I hope)

  11. The satellite we are viewing from is astra2 there is a website with that name .org this is from that website.
    What the satellite will broadcast once it is moved has not been said.

    The Astra 2F satellite has now entered service at 28.2° East, all frequencies from Astra 1N will be transfered to Astra 2F.
    Services will keep the same frequencies, so there is not expected to be any major disruption apart from a short break in service when the transfer occurs. Once UK services have been withdrawn from Astra 1N, the satellite will be repositioned to serve continental Europe.
    If you are viewing or listening outside the UK, now is not the time to invest in any new equipment. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, currently uses the UK spotbeam on the Astra 1N satellite, this is soon to be replaced by Astra 2F. The two satellites are very similar, though the UK spotbeam on Astra 2F differs from that of Astra 1N.
    Astra 1N will remain at 28.2° East until Astra 2E enters service in 2013.

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