The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Exactly. There were various attempts made to impose what was then quite a strict -- although, as it turned out, unsustainable -- regime on domestic services, and the argument was about whether to extend that to satellite services. There were plenty of people who wanted to do that, but quite a lot of them, to be fair, actuated by a dislike of Mr Murdoch.

I myself took the view that Sky was such a brave commercial venture and it nearly bankrupted the News Corporation that it needed all the help it could get, because good would come out of Sky, and whatever anyone says about Rupert Murdoch -- and I am certainly one of those who has said quite a lot about him in the past -- Sky is a marvellous service. It really is. And when I am quoted in one of the debates of saying, "Well, it is employing 1,000 people, what is the point of driving them offshore?", as would have happened, if you look at the size of Sky now -- and I think quite a lot of things we did in politics when we were ministers were wrong and we were stupid and we didn't see far enough ahead. But with this, I stand by every word of what I said then, which is that Sky is a tremendous thing to be based in Britain, because the alternative was it was going to go to Luxembourg. You need to bear in mind that at the beginning of all this, there were two satellite broadcasters: there was British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky. British Satellite Broadcasting hung out in a sort of late Roman imperial triumphalist building, which still exists, although British Satellite Broadcasting doesn't, to the south of Chelsea Bridge, and I remember going there with my private secretary and saying, "Fascinating. All the trappings of success without the need to be successful first."

You then went out to Sky, which was then a series of Nissen huts, literally Nissen huts, out in Hounslow, where they still are, though the Nissen huts have been replaced with shiny buildings. I admired the energy of Sky. I also admired them realising they were blazing a trail, so I didn't have to have my arm twisted round my neck to do this, though I daresay if I had shown any reluctance, my arm would have been twisted around behind my neck. But I was a willing victim of all of this.

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