Leader: Worth every penny

The BBC still delivers the goods

The BBC is always good for a kicking. When it dared to ask for a licence fee increase a fraction above the inflation rate earlier this month, the air was thick with calls for the uncompetitive monolith to be killed off.

Except that time and again, the BBC proves its worth. This week, viewers of BBC2 will see the first episode in what promises to be a vivid and compelling series on ancient Rome. By then, we will be into the fourth episode of Andrew Davies's innovative and thrilling attempt to make a soap opera of Dickens's Bleak House, while over on BBC4 is the brilliant comedy, The Thick of It.

And that is just television. On Radio 4, the latest scandal in the decades-old Archers is pulling in more listeners than ever. The plain truth is that the BBC delivers public value that more than justifies its licence fee. It is a model public institution which enriches the country and our lives. The licence fee is cheap at the price.


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