Scenes in Hollywood blockbusters could be filmed inside Big Ben’s clock tower under plans to save parliament money.
The Palace of Westminster hopes to raise £3m a year by capitalizing on the building’s iconic status.
Big Ben inevitably makes an appearance in any big budget film set in London – but under the plans directors could also be let inside the historic tower.
House of Commons authorities have pledged to reduce the cost of running parliament by 17% by 2014/15 in line with reductions being made across the public sector.
Other ideas being considered include increasing the number of days the Houses of Parliament are open to tours, selling a wider range of merchandise and offering up the dining rooms used by MPs for commercial hire.
In 2007 Big Ben was voted the most iconic film location in London thanks to a scene from the 1978 spy thriller 39 steps that saw Robert Powell hanging from the hands of its giant clock face in order to prevent a bomb exploding in parliament.
However directors are quite fond of making parliament explode. In the 2006 film V for Vendetta Big Ben does get spectacularly blown up along with the rest of the palace.
Big Ben also gets blow up by aliens in the 1996 film Mars Attacks, burnt down by dragons in 2002’s Reign of Fire and has a spaceship crash into it in Doctor Who.