Tens of thousands of UK amateur radio licences expired in December 2012 but it appears the regulator Ofcom has failed to remove them from the licence totals.
December 2006 Ofcom automatically issued all radio amateurs on their
database with 5 year licences. It then subsequently automatically
extended the 5 year licences so they didn't expire until December 2012.
licence statistics just issued by Ofcom show a grand total of 80357
amateur radio licences, the total has been steadily increasing each
month since December 2006 because people who've died or given up the
hobby remain in the figures.
figures appear to indicate that 100% of all radio amateurs renewed
their licences by the end of December 2012. This is not credible given
that over 500 radio amateurs die each year and the last time a UK
amateur had to renew a licence was back in January 2006.
See Ofcom's amateur radio licence statistics - http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees/monthly-stats/