OPINIONS; Do you want a fifth TV channel?

Bids for the fifth terrestrial television station were announced last week
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DICKIE BIRD, cricket umpire: There are far too many channels already. When I get the chance I like to watch cowboy films, especially those starring Clint Eastwood. If the fifth channel was going to be devoted to cowboy films, I might change my mind.

SIMON WILKINSON, TV repair man: I've got cable and you do get a load of crap on some of the 47 channels but I just don't watch them, it's as simple as that. But another independent channel is not quite the same as cable - it would be good if it was a cross between Channel Four and ITV.

MARY WHITEHOUSE: No. If the other four would behave themselves we could get everything we wanted from them. What happens when you introduce another channel is you get competition on the lowest level rather than the highest.

DAVE ROSS, director, car-hire firm: I hope Richard Branson gets it because he's doing cola cheaper than anyone else. My son-in-law has Sky and when I go round there to babysit I watch films and so forth - when I can work the machine. Otherwise I watch the news and Cilla Black.

PATSY MOORE, shop assistant: Yes, as long as it doesn't cost any more and I'm in charge of the clicker - my husband always hogs it. We recently got satellite, which is great. We can go on holiday every night with the Sky Travel Show.

ROBBY PARKS, aged 13: No. Everyone should get cable instead.

MARIA GEORGIO, hairdresser: I didn't know there was going to be one. They'll probably just put on the same old repeats.

CRISTINA ODONE, editor, Catholic Herald: Yes. The more oxygen we have in terms of information-gathering and information-distribution the better, otherwise we'll be asphyxiated by lack of knowledge. That said, I hardly watch television because I prefer reading. I haven't even ventured into colour yet.

TOM SMITH, pensioner: No. I've only got one pair of eyes.

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