The strip club

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by

It’s possible every night this week to sit in front of the terrestrial channels and watch the same programmes as the night before. With the World Cup over, everyone seems to be attempting to fill the chasm with just one or two shows.

At least on BBC1 the stripping only affects this week, with Big Cat Week and Only Fools on Horses (which on the plus side, is making Matt Baker a peaktime light entertainment star, but on the minus side is confirming yet again how completely crap Angus Deayton is at live telly). And of course on C4 there’s Big Brother.

But it’s ITV1 who are stripping with the most gusto, and bar the hour 9-10pm, they have a virtually identical schedule from 6am to 11pm every day this week. There’s Love Island each night, and also PokerFace. I’m not sure this really benefits from stripping, though – alright, so the winners of each night go through to the final, but given each heat is self-contained, they may as well have run it weekly. Millionaire benefitted from stripping as the contestants and rounds spilled over into each episode, whereas here it’s all done and dusted by the end of the show.

If anything, stripping it will be to the show’s detriment, I feel, making it seem repetitive and boring (it could also do with being half an hour shorter, but that’s by the by). The idea of showing it every day seems to be making it some kind of event, and perhaps more exciting than it actually is – they could easily have run this on Saturday teatimes and it would be as traditional as Bob’s Full House.

Stripping in peaktime is certainly something that’s only become common in recent years, and for a new show even five years ago it would have been unheard of. Even Big Brother, when it began, wasn’t a seven-day operation. Maybe it does help garner the show more interest, but if it’s a flop, it can be an even more excrutiating one.


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