► The Peacock Committee reports back 

3 March 2017 tbs.pm/10797

Over now to BBC-2’s Newsnight on 29 May 1986, for in-depth reports on the Peacock Committee report into broadcasting in the UK.

The report, which had a very free market bent to fit in with the times, suggested that ITV franchises should be sold to the highest bidder; the licence fee should be index linked to get the BBC to control its costs better; that BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 should be sold off, although how and why wasn’t clear; and that eventually BBC programmes should be pay-per-view, with all TV sets and even radios fitted with devices that would allow programmes to be individually unscrambled by swiping a credit card.

All of these suggestions were ludicrous. Some of them came to pass. Peter Snow, Jenni Murray and Gavin Esler are amongst the journalists looking into this absurd example of broadcasting being pulled up out of the ground to examine how well its roots are developing.

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