A CAMPAIGNING senior citizen from Greenock has become a figurehead for pensioner power after appearing on ITV's This Morning.

Ivy Siegfried, 82, was invited on yesterday's edition of the programme after she told the Tele she would rather go to jail than pay up after the free licence for over-75s was scrapped.

The OAP appeared by video link from her home in Dunlop Street on the show hosted by Dermot O'Leary and Rochelle Humes.

Outspoken Ivy said she wasn't happy about the free licence being scrapped.

Ivy said: "I don't like it, I think it's disgusting.

"They're doing this against pensioners.

"We have the lowest pensions in the whole of Europe.

"It gets me upset, it really does.

"I am not a television person - and I am certainly not a BBC television person.

"When I think of all the elderly people and what they have gone through during for their lives and now the BBC screwing them for £157 a year for rubbish...I am angry."

When asked by Rochelle what it would mean to her and her friends to not have a television, Ivy said that she could pay it but she knew many who were living on the breadline.

She said that Age UK took 600,000 signatures from pensioners sent to Boris Johnson and made the point that many pensioners relied on their televisions.

She said: "Some pensioners use their televisions as friends.

"They put it on when they get up in the morning, they watch it, they listen to it because it is like someone in their home and now they have to pay for that privilege."

Ivy was unhappy when Madeline Grant, a newspaper commentator, argued the time for universal TV licences was over.

Madeline said: "I think the argument for them being universal for the over-75s, that argument has slightly collapsed with the passing of time.

"The average income of pensioner households is £20 a week better off than working age households."

Ivy hit back: "Most pensioners of 75 and over started working, as I did, aged 14 and 15 years old.

"When we were growing up we were told to save for our old age and we did."

She told Madeline: "I just hate means testing. It's degrading for a pensioner. I am still getting taxed at the age of 82, what do you think of that?

"Think about yourself when you get older, what's going to happen to you?"

The interview was interrupted when Ivy's phone went off for a second time, leading TV star Dermot to quip that she was a busy woman and it was perhaps the BBC looking for her.

The Department of Media, Culture and Sport issued a statement to the show saying they were disappointed at the BBC's decision and Dermot read out a BBC comment saying that those in receipt of pension credit wouldn't have to pay and they were also introducing a new scheme were people could pay in instalments.

He said: "That seems quite reasonable Ivy."

Ivy replied: "I can pay it, I'm not here for me - I'm here for other people."

Dermott quipped: "We don't want you serving time in the clink."

Ivy, whose parting shot was that national treasure Sir Tom Moore raised £32m for the NHS and will now have to pay for a licence, replied: "I don't mind going to prison.

"If I go to prison, I'll get three meals a day and free TV in there."