The BBC really is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

While happily paying telephone number salaries to sports pundits, DJs and part time diversity managers, it then pursues old age pensioners for not paying their licence. Now, to add insult to injury, it wants to increase the licence fee in line with inflation.

At the moment, the government has rejected the Beeb’s request and we can only hope it sticks to that. But in fact, the request should never have been made in the first place.

During the last charter review, the BBC and the government agreed that the BBC could increase the licence fee with inflation provided it took over funding licences for the over-75s. Having reneged on this it then has the gall to hold out a begging bowl.

The BBC’s annual income is between five and six billion pounds, made up of three and half billion from the licence fees, and two billion from sales. I would suggest that the government tells it to live within its budget.

D Walker