That's entertainment - BBC puts licence money to good use

Once the holiday home of the legendary record producer Mickie Most, with panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the luxurious villa perched on a hilltop overlooking Cannes has had more prosaic guests in the last three years – executives from the BBC who have been using it as a base and for entertaining.

In figures released to the Guardian after a Freedom of Information request, the corporation admitted spending £90,530 on five separate hirings of the villa and related travel and hospitality since 2006, most recently in April.

The BBC also confirmed it has been using the villa twice a year for "at least seven or eight years" to wine and dine executives from other UK and foreign broadcasters at international programming markets in Cannes in a bid to get them to inject cash into new television projects.

BBC spends licence fee payers' money on luxurious villa to entertain in Cannes
(The Guardian, 3 August 2009)