Alan Dee: Did we really need this live landing?

Let me make this quite clear, I do love the BBC.

But as in all successful relationships, I don’t let that love blind me to some of the downright daft things that they do.

Now this isn’t going to be one of those rambling rants about how there’s nothing but repeats on the TV these days or how everyone in Auntie Beeb’s employ is little better than a card-carrying commie determined to do down this great nation of ours.

If I was running the Corporation things would undoubtedly be different. EastEnders would be scrapped, for a start – well, I’ve never watched an episode since it started, so I obviously don’t need it.

BBC3 would be quickly down to the dumpster, along with the bulk of the Beeb’s local radio stations.

But I’m not running the show so I look on the whole enterprise as a sort of subscription library for news and entertainment.

There are obviously parts of the Beeb, as there are sections in any library, where I will never venture.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t dearly love what I can get for 40p a day, which is what the licence fee breaks down to – always presuming that you pay it.

In fact, when you consider that the fee covers the whole of Dee Towers it’s even less than that, once you take into account Mrs Dee’s continuing devotion to afternoon quiz show Pointless and whatever the son and heir tunes into when he’s not watching endless re-runs of The Simpsons and Family Guy on more commercial channels.

I’m not volunteering, of course, but I wouldn’t murmur if I was expected to cough up something more like £1 a day for everything on offer from Auntie.

Just what you can tap into on the radio, all those witless local stations aside, is worth that, particularly now that so much of the programming is available online and there’s no reason to miss out on little jewels that are spread across the schedule.

Chris Moyles may be a deeply unpleasant pustule – while I think about it, let’s all Radio 1 in all its manifestations to the scrapheap, you’re not telling me that their target audience is coughing up for a licence fee – but thanks to the marvels of the internet and the amazing iPlayer I can catch up every day with radio genius Danny Baker.

He’s recovering from a debilitating bout of cancer but he’s back in a weekday slot on BBC Radio London which is also available to listeners from anywhere in the world. You see, even local stations can have something worth prizing.

But I digress. Where they really get my goat is in going live – doubtless at considerable cost – to locations and incidents that just don’t merit that sort of attention.

And I certainly seethed when the boys and girls at Radio 5 decided that the landing of the last space shuttle deserved a live link from the USA.

That’s a live broadcast of a glorified plane landing, thousands of miles away.

I can see something similar with my own eyes any day of the week just by looking up at the Luton flightpath.

So please, Auntie, take it from a friend – stick to what you do best and what nobody else can touch, instead of playing into the hands of your enemies.