If anyone deserved my old mantle as Britain's sneeriest TV critic it is Ally Ross in The Sun.
Creatively, of course, he’s compromised by working for the Murdoch press. It’s shame, but it means that while he's free to gleefully batter the old dinosaur channels (BBC, ITV and C4, especially) he doesn’t really dare get stuck into BskyB.
Having said that, Ally does make me titter. This gem from his column today....
GMTV, Thursday, John Stapleton: Today’s text question. Have you been troubled by rubbish recently?
EVRY MRNG 4 LAST 10 YRS, FFS :-(
It's the sheer delight Ali takes in being nasty that does it for me. I think we can all guess what 'FFS' stands for – and most of us like to laugh up our sleeves at blandies such as Stapleton, whose dreary careers just plod on and on and on.
Talking of which, I have some advice for the professionally excitable Phillip Schofield, who’s so fond of exclaiming “amazing!” and “fantastic” on shows as naff as 'Celebrity Mr & Mrs' and 'Dancing on Ice'.
I suggest he should instead say “that’s crap!” or “what a bore!”. Such phrases would accurately describe his shows and might actually endear him to his long-suffering viewers.
* * *
I predicted many years ago – when my column was on ORACLE and then on its colourless successor, Teletext (good riddance to the latter!) – that the TV industry was deluded in anticipating a new golden age of choice.
That was not, I’m afraid, ever going to be the case.
The expansion of TV, as I predicted from my perch at ORACLE, demonstrates just one thing – the paradox that More means Less.
Oh, there are, technically, more programmes for the viewer now, even for those limited to Freeview, but as a whole TV is a much diminished force.
And the public are utterly jaded by the samey old crap on offer. Again, as I predicted.
Also, the TV industry has help make the people of our country (Britain, in this case, though I suspect this applies elsewhere), ever more stupid.
With very few exceptions contemporary British TV is awful. It’s riddled with repeats, culturally irrelevant American kack, mind-sapping trailers, cop shows, gormless talent shows and karaoke kontests, cookery and lifestyle dross, spurious “celebrity” challenges, limp chat full of commercial puffs, and now stupid dance programmes.
It's 99 per cent pure moron fodder. So we shouldn’t be surprised at the results.
Take the current Celebrity Big Brother on C4.Celebrities?! Who the feck are these no-marks? Apart from the broad who was Ken Barlow’s bit on the side in Coronation Street, I haven’t a clue. Looks like they were dragged onto the show from Primark in Nuneaton.
And for six minutes the other night I forced myself to watch some barely comprehensible garbage called Celebrity Big Brother’s Big Mouth – anchored by the overrated Davina McCall, wearing a skirt too short for a bird of her age, and shouting and grimacing like a maniac.
Just watch this show. By the studio audience alone, you'll agree with me that Brits have become so THICK! If the cretins here are anything to judge by, adults now speak, shriek and act like truculent kids.
Next posting, I will point out the rare gems in the wasteland that is British television.