I agree with the sentiment behind that intervention. One of the worst features of the financial crisis is that there can be no possibility of an extension of BBC local radio or the likelihood of the BBC implementing the recommendations. of the Crawford Committee. I support the extension of local radio to the country as well as to the towns.
The BBC's income must be increased. I appreciate that some hon. Members, and, indeed, people outside the House, argue that first there should be substantial economies. We have to face that situation. It is unfortunate that publicity has been given to the cost of dresses used in lavish BBC productions. We must not under-estimate the effect of that publicity on public opinion. The hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed mentioned Tony Blackburn's contract, and again that will have an effect when it comes to seeking an increase in the licence fee.