IT’S rather a shame that ITV is crumbling to dust and can’t even come up with good new ideas any more. Demons?! How derivative is it possible to be?
In the glory days of British television (the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s) ITV was more than a telly channel … it was a badge of national cultural identity.
In those days, you were either an ITV person (lively, quick-witted, working class, and rather beautiful) or you were a BBC person (stuffy, bourgeois, Pooterish and humourless).
Nowadays, of course, television is much expanded and yet, paradoxically, it’s not nearly such a potent force culturally.
But suppose for a minute we Brits still identified ourselves by our choice of TV network; then I guess an ITV Person would now be nervous, short of money, insecure, bereft of ideas.
And a BBC Person would be a Liberal-Fascist, hideously corporatist and obsessed with racial issues and feminism.
So I guess ITV still represents the majority of British people … just about!
Meanwhile, one gem of quality writing and character-driven humour survives on ITV, thrives even … and that is Coronation Street.
Last night’s episode saw Becky within five minutes end her engagement to thick-as-a-plank Jason Grimshaw, get engaged and move in with Steve McDonald, and have a blazing row with Steve’s ex, Michelle.
We also saw Steve have a bust-up with both his mam and Eileen.
It was entertaining stuff and as ever there was a neat philosophical contrast between all the passion going on … and Roy and Hayley Cropper, just a few feet away in the Rovers, together the epitome of buttoned up propriety and pained humanity.
And that’s before you consider that Roy is a pathological misfit – and Hayley a transsexual.
The actor who plays Ken Barlow, original cast member William Roache, is now on leave as he grieves for the death of his wife.
I hope the weeks ahead go as well as can be expected for William, and that soon he is back at work to continue Ken’s exquisite illicit romance with the narrowboat-dwelling siren played by Stephanie Beacham.