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Keep FM radio, says Lord Renton

Analogue radio should not be switched off until its replacement is better, a peer who uses it to scare badgers away from the grapes in his vineyard said today.

Lord Renton of Mount Harry said there were still "many things wrong'' with digital radio.

Lord Shutt of Greetland, for ministers, told peers there was still "a lot to be done'' before the planned switchover in 2015.

He said within the next couple of weeks the Government would be making an announcement on the "road map'' towards the digital switchover.

But Lord Renton, a former Government chief whip in the Commons, asked Lord Shutt: "Can you assure me that you will do something to cope with, for example, excessive cost, poor coverage and the muffled and fizzy noise it makes?

"Can some of this get cured before the analogue radio is finally disappeared?

"I have to confess I have an interest in this matter as I'm a partner in a vineyard where we regularly use analogue radio all night to stop the badgers from eating our grapes.''

Lord Shutt replied: "I'm led to believe that 75 per cent of the people we ask say digital radio is a better radio in terms of what they can hear.''

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