Monday, 31 October 2011

A show trial of Phillip Schofield – now!

If there was any real justice in the world, the people who pollute our living rooms with mainstream TV crap would face a court of law.

Their crimes are grave indeed – having through their relentless output desensitised and made stupid millions of people.

And that’s before we even start to consider the huge and sinful waste of creative resources and energy that is the television industry.

I would personally like to see presenters and producers of moronic offerings such as The Cube and X Factor (ITV1) put on trial for their blatant mass destruction of human brainpower.

Hopefully we could begin with a show trial of Phillip Schofield, the Prince of Blandness. How anyone can bear to watch such rubbish as The Cube is beyond me. I caught some of it last night. Adults in a big perspex cube trying to catch balls – and other such infantile japes. What’s the bloody point?

My viewing last night was restricted to a snatch of the dismal Cube and then most of Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which may have been a repeat. Generally, the Burp has been refreshingly counter-cultural – it’s main point being that 99 per cent of TV output is unbelievably stupid.

Last night’s show has some witty pokes at EastEnders’ Fat Pat and her coming on sexually to some hapless character whose face I vaguely remember from shite sitcoms in the ‘70s. Fat Pat on heat – now that’s what I call frightening.

But Hill’s show was never quite satirical enough about TV – perhaps it was never allowed to be …

Because the TV industry is so heavily committed to self-promotion, and to maintaining the myth that telly is an important, positive cultural force.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Why it's so hard to LIKE the BBC. NB Fergal Keane!

I try very hard to like the BBC – but the people who work for the corporation make that very difficult.

Take the newsreaders and presenters, for example…

From those stiffs on ‘Breakfast’ – Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams – to the dorks who front main BBC1 bulletins such as Kate Silverton; they all seem to have strawberries stuck up their arses.

And don't even get me started on Fergal Keane and his bleeding heart, liberal compassion industery reportage. Aaarrrggh!

I much prefer the more down-to-earth presentation style of Sky News, where the likes of Anna Botting and Stephen Dixon do a great job.

And I still occasionally watch ITV’s News at Ten - though it isn’t what it was in the good old days of Trevor McDonald and Reginald Bosanquet .

Elsewhere on the BBC, the output makes me want to rush to my en-suite vomitarium. I am certainly sick of the smug face of Sue Perkins crapping on about the baking of cakes – as if that was in any way important.

And tonight (5 October 2011) Perkins is to appear on some dull twaddle on BBC2 about “celebrities” walking in the “wild” … in Cornwall. I shan’t be watching.

What else? Well, I think all those tarts (gender neutral usage!) who front cookery shows on all channels should be bludgeoned in their beds.

But, like I say, I do try to like the BBC. I don’t want to be thought of as one of those mad, conservative types who are always spluttering about the BBC’s undoubted obsessions with gay sexuality and multiculturalism.

For the record, I have no problem with gay culture or ethnic minority cultures. I think our national culture is all the richer and more humorous for those elements. I just don’t like being preached at in middlebrow dramas such as Casualty and EastEnders.

I think the BBC is very good indeed at sitcoms. It has always knocked ITV into a cocked hat with those. ITV has only ever made ONE good sitcom –Shelley. The BBC has made loads – from old classics such as Till Death Us Do Part, to recent offerings such as the brilliant Outnumbered.

However, the best comedy show – as opposed to traditional 30-minute sitcom – is Harry Hill’s TV Burp, an ITV offering.

And the two best comedy dramas of contemporary times are also both ITV products – Benidorm and Doc Martin.

At heart, in terms of cultural identity, I'm still an ITV man - tinged perhaps with a Sky News sort of attitude.

Despite my best efforts, I simply can't bring myself to like the BBC. I think there is always an agenda with its people. They are, in the main, Guardian readers.