Britain's publicly funded broadcaster, the BBC, has been branded a "complete joke" after it was revealed it has offered staff a one-hour course on how to drink water.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC has produced a series of so-called ‘wellness' webinars aimed at helping staff maintain mental and physical health.
One such course, entitled ‘Hydration', provided staff with a one-hour course on the benefits of drinking water and how to stay properly hydrated, The Sun reported.
In an email sent out to BBC staff, the broadcaster explained: "Attending this webinar will help you to identify the importance of being fully hydrated and find practical ways to achieve this state every day and to understand how being fully hydrated will improve health, overall wellbeing and performance."
In response to the course, an insider at the BBC said: "We've all had a good laugh about it, so I guess it has boosted our mental health."
Another insider added: "I guess the main lesson of the course will be to ‘drink some water', but why it takes a whole hour to say that is a mystery."
A spokesman for the BBC responded: "We are addressing the fact you can take a journalist to water, but you can't make them drink."
The Defund the BBC social media campaign blasted the British Broadcasting Corporation for wasting public funds, writing: "The BBC has absolutely zero respect for your money or you as a paying customer."
"Switch to on-demand and do your bit to #DefundTheBBC by legally cancelling your TV licence," the campaign added.
The pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU also took aim at the broadcaster, saying: "Our national broadcaster has become a complete joke."
Other webinars produced during the pandemic at public expense include tutorials on how to eat healthier food, how to exercise at home, and how to strike a balance of work and caring for children.
Meanwhile, the BBC was revealed to have sent out some 525,223 letters to over-75's by the end of November of last year, demanding that elderly people "arrange payment" of the licence fee or apply for a free licence fee for those who qualify.
The Communications Act 2003 requires Britons to pay a £154.50 per year licence fee to support the BBC if they watch live television or use the BBC iPlayer. Those found to be using the services without paying the tax are subject to fines of up to £1,000, a court appearance, and even possible jail time.
Some 121,000 people were convicted of evading the tax in 2018, alone, resulting in the imprisonment of five people in England and Wales.
The government has floated the idea of scrapping the penalties for non-payment of the licence fee, however, no such proposal has been put forward as of yet.