BBC follows the Queen's money-spinning lead

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When Her Majesty hit a spot of bother with the housekeeping a few years ago, she offered the country a glimpse of her drawing room at £8 a go. And where the Queen leads, the BBC must follow, writes Rhys Williams. From spring next year, tourists can add queuing up to see the basement of Broadcasting House to their long list of central London must-dos - such as lining up at Madam Tussaud's, waiting for a table at Planet Hollywood and eyeing up the sandwich counterat Marks & Spencer at Marble Arch.

The basement as yet consists mainly of storage space and a couple of dodgy coffee machines. However, an extensive re-fit this summer will see it transformed into a hi-tech visitor centre catering for 1,000 people a day, seven days a week. Charging £4.95 for adults, it could raise more than £1.5m a year.

A BBC spokeswoman said the licence fee would not be used to fund the project, adding: "The aim is not to make huge profits, but to cover costs."

Visitors will be able to watch live recordings of radio shows, and then have a go themselves in a separate studio, cubicle and editing suite before enjoying a cup of tea and a sticky bun.