In my later teenage years, my tastes became more diverse and so, out of curiosity, I recorded a Late Show documentary on Frank Zappa. It became regular viewing for me, and enabled me to gain a love for early Zappa/Mothers albums. The documentary still stands up today as a truly masterful piece of work, particularly as it's only 45 minutes long (the standard length of a Late Show episode).
Although the show had a slim audience, it was popular enough to be parodied. I still recall the more right-wing press considering it as being a ghetto for "BBC luvvies", which perhaps led to its downfall.
But, my overwhelming feeling of The Late Show is that it was diverse, insightful, unashamedly intellectual, and allowed thick uncultured types like me to dive into something gorgeous and beautiful for three quarters of an hour each day.
One might consider that BBC Four more than covers the Late Show's remit now. But it doesn't. BBC Four is crammed with repeats and more popular programming. What the The Late Show did in 45 minutes can't be done by BBC Four in a week, let alone an evening. The channel that hosted The Late Show, BBC Two, appears to be now occupied by pseudo-reality shows and white male-dominated comedy.
And, The Late Show wasn't necessarily expensive: put people in a studio to argue, talk about art, or play music and it's not going to break the bank.
The simple fact is that we are bereft of televisual content that makes people feel enriched as well as informed. Political scrutiny by media is failing. Artistic interrogation by media is failing. The stuff that allows us to ask new questions as well as seek new answers is becoming less valuable and less available.
The Late Show is symbolic of a BBC, of a media, which I loved. I hate to feel nostalgic, but in this case, an exception might turn out to be entirely justified.
Paul Squires is the publisher of Imperica.