"There's a television programme on!" is one of those news stories that's as unfathomably popular as "There was weather!" - yet I find it hard to work out what it is about it that I get so grumpy about.
I mean, where's the harm in it? There's a TV programme on. What's wrong with discussing how the TV programme might go, and wondering how the people taking part in it might succeed in their quest to learn how to dance / dance on ice / sing / sing and dance / sing and dance, on ice. And it's not that I don't like reality TV, because I do. I even watched Todd Carty scamper about like a modern-day Buster Keaton in last year's Dancing on Ice, and I thought it was good fun. So why do I feel so fed up when I read news stories about it? Is it just that I'd prefer to have news about news, rather than this kind of fluffy sawdust to bulk out the output?
I think there might be something more. And I think I've worked out what it is about this BBC story
that makes me so annoyed. It's the whole bending-over-backwardsness of it, a necessary evil in some ways from the Beeb, but still unpleasant. We all expect them to rabbit on about Brucie and Tess and whichever minor celebrities are doing the cha-cha-cha this year, because Strictly Come Dancing's on the BBC; but they feel the need to be excruciatingly fair about the whole thing, and mention what ITV are up to. It's not as if the ITV website is going to start blethering on about powder-puff reality TV shows on the Beeb, is it? It's just some couldn't-get-panto stars scraping about on ice for a few weeks, after all. Who gives a monkey's?
But no, the BBC must plough on and be fair to ITV. They hand-wring. They think: well, we mention Strictly on our website, so we must mention the X-Factor and that one with the skating as well, just to be fair. Why be fair? They'll never be fair back to you. Go on, ignore them. What happened to the glorious days when the Radio TImes wasn't allowed to mention ITV shows, and you had to get the TV Times separately, and each pretended the other didn't exist at all? Where did all this fairness come from? I demand war between commercial and non-commercial broadcasters, not chummy pats on the back!
Oh well. Mind you, if the BBC's public service remit extends to alerting me to the possibility of Bobby Davro skating into a wall live on television, then that's worth a couple of extra pennies on the licence fee...
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