Tuesday, January 1, 2008 by · Comments Off 

So how do you begin looking back on a year in which television went completely evil?

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The advent frown

Thursday, December 20, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Everyone must have a piece of Christmas television that’s become a tradition in their house - The SnowmanThe QueenTop of the Pops. For me, it’s always been the Christmas edition of Blue Peter. Read more

“All them programmes is recorded in August!”

Friday, December 14, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Broadcasters have been ripping off millions of viewers through phone-ins. The Controller of BBC1 was forced to resign over media pressure. Thousands of viewers risk being disenfranchised by digital switchover. And what’s Liberal Democrat broadcasting spokesman Don Foster doing? Counting up all the repeats on Christmas telly again. Read more

The Jubilee line

Sunday, October 14, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Five years ago, Channel 4 was so miserable the only mention of its 20th anniversary came from Richard Whiteley on Countdown. Happily – presumably to cheer themselves up after a rather grim year – they’re making much more effort in celebrating their silver jubilee, with More4 screening archive shows every night in October. For my money, the most intriguing so far was Friday’s repeat of The Tube. Read more

Three’s continuity – slight return

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Back in January, I suggested that BBC3 had the worst continuity announcers on telly, especially the hopeless Keiron Elliott. Almost a year on, he’s still at it, and it looks like Family Guy is continuing to bring out the worst in him. Read more

2 become 1

Monday, September 10, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Due to a, er, clerical error, I’ve ended up watching two of the three episodes so far of Holly and Fearne Go Dating on ITV1. And surely it’s only a clerical error that has put this on the main channel in the first place, as with its flimsy concept and production budget of, seemingly, 50p, this show has got ITV2 written all over it. Read more

A whole new ball game

Monday, August 13, 2007 by · Comments Off 

As I mentioned a few months back, all I ever watch on telly these days is football, and so I was certainly excited to see the new graphics, title sequences and theme tunes this weekend on both Sky Sports and the BBC. Most exciting of all, though, was the arrival of a brand new channel for Premier League football, as Aston Villa vs Liverpool was the first ever live Premier League match not to be broadcast on Sky Sports, but on new boys Setanta Sports. Read more

“This calls for a sexy party!”

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Nine months after it was going out at midnight, this week’s Broadcast reports that Family Guy is now the second most popular programme on BBC3. Read more

Now that we’re together Nationwide

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Well, here’s the good news – we’ll only have to hear the abysmal new theme to The One Show another 249 times. Read more

King David

Monday, June 18, 2007 by · Comments Off 

When it comes to panel games, it doesn’t really matter as to the format or the questions – probably about 95% of the appeal is down to the participants. So nobody really cares that 8 out of 10 Cats is about opinion polls – all that matters is that Sean Lock is there being funny. Hence, BBC1′s new panel game Would I Lie to You is likely to prove enjoyable due to the masterstroke of hiring David Mitchell as a team captain. Read more


Saturday, April 28, 2007 by · Comments Off 

It’s been a bad few weeks for the Popworld brand – first its spin-off magazine closes down after two issues, and now the series itself is being axed. Read more

Three’s continuity

Friday, January 26, 2007 by · Comments Off 

BBC3 has always had an appalling press, but I’ve always been a fan of it because I think a lot of its programmes are very good (great to see Man Stroke Woman back) and it does something different to its rivals. However, one area in which it’s always been appalling is… its dreadful continuity announcers. Read more


Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by · Comments Off 

So, the new prime time Panorama, then. Sadly, and inevitably, I didn’t watch it, but it was good to know that it was there, and that it will always be there. I liked the editor saying that people were asking if they could “do” Northern Ireland in 30 minutes, as if they could “do” Northern Ireland in 40 minutes. Read more


Monday, January 1, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

Advancing years take away from us what we have inherited and give us what we have earned. Our relationship with television is a forever-burning example of this; the longer we feel we’ve hung around pouring our time and energy into watching it, the more we feel not merely blessed but actually owed an increasingly rarefied quality of enjoyment in return. Read more

It Started With Swap Shop

Thursday, December 28, 2006 by · Comments Off 

In 1996, the BBC’s Saturday morning kids shows were still hugely popular and prestigious programmes, watched by children and adults alike. Read more

“Interesting… Very interesting!”

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 by · Comments Off 

In a cliched fashion, these days I spend most of the weekend, and a couple of weeknights, watching football on Sky Sports. In fact in terms of hours I probably watch Sky Sports more than any other channel, which I’m not proud of. Read more

“You just want a happy-clappy programme”

Thursday, November 2, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Heat magazine (yeah, yeah) reports this week that the centrepiece for next year’s Comic Relief will be, oh God, Fame Academy again. It’s quite remarkable given that, by the time it comes around, it’ll have been four years since the last proper series of the show, but seemingly such is the dearth of ideas for Comic Relief, it’s being allowed to live on purely in its celebrity version forever. Indeed I’m not sure how the BBC are happy with this flop continuing – what next, Celebrity Eldorado? Read more


Saturday, October 14, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Regarding Matthew’s comments below, Broadcast magazine reports that Lead Balloon will be screened on BBC2 in two weeks’ time.

Stunted growth

Monday, October 9, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Two years ago, Arrested Development arrived on British screens to a blaze of publicity telling us this was the best sitcom to come from America for years. The scheduling matched this, with a 10pm slot on BBC2 and the next episode straight after on BBC4. Now we’re in the middle of the third and final series, and when did BBC2 screen the latest edition? At 1am on Monday morning. Read more

Election ’83

Friday, October 6, 2006 by · Comments Off 

At least they got the exit poll right. At the start of the coverage, David Dimbleby announced that the Conservatives were going to win the General Election with a majority of 146. At the end of the coverage, David Dimbleby announced that the Conservatives had won the General Election with a majority of 144. Read more

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