For those of you who cannot listen to anything other than the World Service without resorting to the free, online facility of the BBC iPlayer on the net, the BBC is an independent, national broadcasting company, and has been since it's inception. It receives money from everyone in the UK who watches television, and that money amounts to quite a lot, so it has no reason whatsoever to compete with the commercial stations, which is why the quality of the programmes are so good, compared with others world-wide. I have watched American TV, and - believe me - it is absolute shite compared to the BBC's output. The only thing they have to compete is run by the National Geographic, online channel, but this is mainly a wildlife thing. It is VERY good though, and funded - as far as I know - by the US equivalent of the Royal Society. May they long continue.
The man who did the most to form the BBC as we know it today, was the Director General, Lord Reith. He genuinely did insist that the radio news-readers wore evening suits (inc. black bow-ties), purely to maintain high standards. The BBC has always had a commitment to the Anglican Church, and later, faiths of all denominations. More and more programmes are sourced externally via private companies, such as the ones owned by Melvyn 'Lord' Bragg. Nothing wrong with that.
In the last few months, despicable corporate predators like the Australian Rupert Murdoch and his son, have been causing a fuss in the media (HIS media - SKY TV, plus all the British newspapers and other companies they own), saying that the BBC has an unfair advantage, because they receive money from the public by force, and therefore do not need to compete with the likes of HIS channels which show round-the-clock, appalling rubbish which makes them a great deal of money. Well he can just fuck off. I would be happy to be one of about 90 million Brits who pay about £150 a year, JUST to keep his and his son's sweaty hands off our broadcasting company, and all the fine writers and producers who are commissioned by it. He was a very good friend of Margaret Thatcher's, and -for all I know - still is, if he can get any sense out of her.
As I have mentioned before, I have not owned a TV for about 25 years, but I have - in the last year or so - been occasionally watching repeats on the iPlayer system, for which I am not obliged to pay anything. I would genuinely be happy to pay a percentage of the license fee, if I was asked to, however. I listen to the radio instead, including the online Radio 7, which is an absolute jewel of a station, run - at any given time - by no more than 14 PEOPLE! Try cutting that to within an inch of it's life, and it will be dead.
A little British touch - that figure statue you can see over the door of Broadcasting House in London, was carved - in situ - by the famous sculptor, Eric Gill. When he was up the scaffold over the door, he wore a Scottish kilt, and nothing else - much to the consternation of the ladies beneath. How British is that?