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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Woefully Awful Easter Telly

It's a Bank Holiday weekend. The weather's awful. If it looks sunny and bright, it might suddenly rain. We'd been shopping. We went over to Boot's at Westcroft as Carol had a prescription that needed making up. We parked and then walked over the carpark to Boot's. Having handed the paperwork over, we were told by the assistant in the pharmacy that it would take around ten minutes, so we went into Morrison's to buy a few items. Having then gone back to Boot's and collected the made-up prescription we returned to the car to drive home. The weather still not decided, so we turned on the television. Not the usual Saturday morning programmes, no doubt because it's a Bank Holiday weekend. Unimaginative scheduling generally, with cooking shows on both sides. James Martin used to be the host/presenter of 'Saturday Kitchen' in BBC1, but has recently decamped to ITV to do virtually the same thing but called 'James Martin's Saturday Morning.' How incredibly original, I don't think. Virtually the same thing as the BBC show, but because it's the commercial rival, it can have sponsorship. I don't dislike him, he's not what I'd call a 'celebrity chef.' Down to earth and all the rest of it (well, he's a Yorkshireman, after all.) And he does plain food, none of that poncey suff certain other 'chefs' get away with on other television shows. But do I sense that he's just gone to ITV because he gets paid a good deal more than he would have done on the good old BBC? It's similar to what happened over the 'Great British Bake Off' when it was revealed that the production company who make it, Love Productions, couldn't get a decent deal with the BBC as they wanted more dosh for making it, so it went to Channel Four. Another story for another day . . . Mind you, having seen some of the Channel Four episodes, it's not much different to how it was on BBC1, without Mary Berry or Mel and Sue, but never mind. Even with advertising, it doesn't seem much different.

The fact is, television just seems to churn out the same old stuff, no real imagination or originality. Too many game shows. Nothing wrong with one or two, things like Countdown, Only Connect or Mastermind. At least they have questions that make you THINK. But to just churn out endless stupid gameshows in the afternoon (Tipping Point, The Chase to name two that run one after the other.) While on BBC1, as the same time as The Chase, there's Pointless. No doubt these shows are cheap to produce. You don't have to pay your contestants (do they get expenses, for example, train fares to reach the studio for recordings? I doubt it somehow.)

Anyway, I digress, as I have a habit of doing. Never mind. On turning on the television this morning, we had to endure endless sofas adverts. What is it about Bank Holiday television? Why do we get a sort of traffic jam of sofa advertising in the run-up to Christmas, New Year, Easter and other Bank Holidays? I've discussed this matter in an earlier blog post. Do people honestly go out and buy new three-piece suites just because there's a holiday period coming up? DFS, SCS, Furniture Village etc etc all have those annoying adverts on again where you are supposed to get a sofa for ridiculously low prices. They're virtually giving them away. How can they do it?

Anyway, we turned on the television this morning, expecting James Martin, when all we got was another cookery show (of a sort) called 'Who's Doing The Dishes.' It's been on for several series, but we seem to have missed it. A load of celebrities have a meal in another celebrity's home. They have no idea who it is, but as each course of the meal is presented to them, and from various clues in the rooms they try to work out who the celebrity it is who cooked the meal. Really trite and awful. A sort of mash-up of 'Through The Keyhole' and 'Come Done With Me.' On this edition the celebrity who was the hostess was Lesley Garrett, the opera singer. I'd heard of hear, obviously, but the guests who had the meal she'd made I'd never heard of. Did it matter? Carol wanted to turn over to another channel as it was so dire, but I was determined to stay with it til the end, as it got worse and worse, just to see how it ended. The so-called celebrities could win £500, if they could guess who their hostess was, if they got it right, that person had to do the washing up. Such an unoriginal idea. It's sad that ITV has come down to producing this sort of stuff. No doubt it cheap and cheerful to make and gets high ratings. Talk of going down-market or merely dumbing down, but this is a good example.

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