6 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Who needs the licence fee? ITV's second channel brings us the best of public service broadcasting, and the live episode of The Only Way is Essex was its highest achievement

Without wishing to sound like one of the frothier wingnuts over on the Daily Telegraph's blog site, Lost in Showbiz has long considered ITV2 to be proof-positive that the licence fee could be abolished and the BBC closed immediately without any injury whatsoever to the cerebral fibre of the nation. Here, it feels, is firm evidence of what commercial television can do when it allows great minds to devote themselves to the business of providing a diet of intellectual sustenance, varied and nutritious in equal measure.

Look at a small sample of what's been on offer in the past few years: a diverse menu degustation of Michelin-starred brain food. When Jordan Met Peter; Jordan and Peter Laid Bare; Jordan and »

- Alexis Petridis

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