Anyone who complains about paying their TV license is an idiot. I admit that I didn’t pay mine until the second written warning came through my door, but just proves two things.  First, that I am a bit of an idiot myself, and second, that people are short-sighted when it comes to what’s good for them.

If you don’t think you get your money’s worth from your TV license then think again. £142.50 a year, £11.86 a month, £2.73 a week, or just shy of 40p per day for radio, tv, online content and so much more that I can’t think of right now is astounding value.

And it’s money that has produced great things. Without the license fee we wouldn’t have Basil Fawlty, Alan Partridge, or Vince Noir. Ok, I admit that for every Shooting Stars you get a 3 Non-blondes, for every John Peel there is a Fearne Cotton, and for every Dragon’s Den you have to put up with a Dragon’s Den Online. But you have to take the rough with the smooth - no positive can exist without a negative.

But the point of this long rambling tirade is that the BBC is a bloody national institution, and it proved it’s brilliance again this week by launching the Archive.

Now from you laptop, or your iPhone, or wherever you can get on the internet, you can access a lost world of TV and radio treasure. You can watch the first episode of Tomorrow’s World from 1965, hear the original radio transmission in which Neville Chamberlain declares war on Germany to being the Second World War, or watch in its entirety the 1956 animal adventure Zoo Quest - a joint venture between London Zoo and the BBC where a fresh-faced David Attenborough journeys around West Africa and South East Asia observing and capturing (yes, they actually jump on stuff into sacks) never before seen animals.

This is why I love the Beeb. They are selfless and keep pushing the boundaries of broadcasting – first the iPlayer and now this. I don’t see ITV being philanthropic, they’re just interested in cashing those fat advertising cheques and churning out programs that are so inane they give you a nosebleed.

My favourite thing on the archive service at the moment is Zoo Quest, which was the genesis of the modern wildlife doc. You wouldn’t have Planet Earth or any of those shows without these groundbreaking footsteps.

It’s a real treat to see Sir David making his first major TV appearance. But TV was very different in 1956. It was a medium still finding its feet, and as such programs felt more like lectures than the ‘press the red button’ interactive, CGI heavy, edu-tainment documentaries of today. Presenters sat in comfortable chairs narrating in a crisp RP accent - the only thing missing was a roaring log fire.

However, although these shows may appear dry the content was and is amazing. Sir David battled with mutiny, sickness, and death (obviously not his own). It was real adventuring into the unknown with no safety net and no precedents to follow.

But that’s enough waffle from me. Just go and watch one of these shows this weekend - I bet you go on to watch the whole series.