Channel 4 is launching its new digital channel, More4, in October, for factual-based programming. It’s intended to be ‘more down to earth and accessible than BBC Four’, with ‘a strong international flavour’.
Great Television Listings Of Our Time, pt. 95822:
BBC1, next Monday:
9:15 a.m. – Beat the Burglar
Dominic Littlewood presents a home security series where a family watches every second of their house being burgled so it will never happen to them for real.
Great Television Listings Of Our Time, pt. 95821:
25 Years of Watchdog: Watchdog’s best known presenters return to re-live the bits people still talk about, including John Stapleton forgetting his wife’s name and Alice Beer being man-handled.
Being back home means being back in front of the telly again for the first time in a little while. Also, because it’s Christmas it also means looking at the listings in the Radio Times, which throws up a few depressing tidbits, such as the fact that someone at Channel Four wants a battering for giving us an ENTIRE SODDING EVENING FOR FUCK’S SAKES of Avid Merrion-related programming, as well as an entire week whereby at least one programme a night is hosted byJimmy Carr. The real value, evidently, is tomorrow morning on Channel 5:
11:30 – How To Be A Property Developer
Heather & Jayne fall out with their builder.
It’s probably not number one, it’s…
So the axe sort of falls on TOTP, shifting it sideways and down a bit to Sunday eventide on BBC2, and doing a bodge-job merging of it with Top Of The Pops 2 which got axed itself a few months ago because it, er, didn’t fit with BBC2’s new image, despite the fact that it was actually really good, the rebranded logo stuff actually worked with its graphics, and the ratings (unless I’m severely misremembering) were rather good. Quite possibly better than the flagship programme’s 3m figures, actually, which definitely wouldn’t be fitting with anyone’s image, would it? Still, if this means that Britain will once again be treated to our once-fortnightly fix of ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ followed by ‘Don’t You Want Me’ (albeit newly interspersed with The Calling), then you won’t hear me complaining. Much.
EDIT: Hold on a second. What’s he doing there? He’s going in February, isn’t he? Isn’t he?
Channel 4: Not Rubbish
04:35 Honda F4-Stroke Powerboat Race Series
Navigational errors cause race upsets in the penultimate rounds of the 2004 Honda Formula 4-Stroke 150hp championship at the Honda British Grand Prix in Plymouth.
Perhaps I should explain. It’s now been a solid six weeks since I last properly watched telly, and what with impending essay deadlines and so on it seemed only right that I started to look through the TV listings to wonder upon what I might be missing, hence that little beauty above. Channel 4 has also been running the Hall Of Fame thing, which it is probably better that I avoided since I don’t need another reason to want to punch people in the face. How very nice of them to have finally banished that horrendous myth that music in the 1980’s might have involved synthesisers or homosexuals.
On BBC2, we notice that HeadJam has now become Vernon Kay’s HeadJam, Balamory’s somehow lost ten minutes, The Smoking Room’s transferred itself across, I am actually quite annoyed that I’ve not seen “Who Do You Think You Are?”, and just generally pissed off that the BBC doesn’t have highlights on its site like what say Comedy Centraldoes, as I spent most of the night before watching clips of the Daily Show and wishing it could be on over here. Instead:
9:00 pm Dead Ringers
American Election Special: Impressionists Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens and Kevin Connelly tackle the US elections, with their versions of John Kerry, Michael Moore, and rap MC George W Bush.
Essay it is, then.
Scary people for a scary world
#4: PAUL “What would you spend that money on?” MARTIN
Those of you who’ve been spending a fair bit of time indoors lately may well have noticed that daytime BBC is beginning to resemble an eerily sheeny branch of Cash Converters. People are encouraged to hunt down the ‘clutter’ (god bless the televisual lexicography for gifting Lorne Spicer and friends that one) in their houses and then sell it at auctions or similar selling-off-things. This has long been a minor British TV obsession, mainly through the not-entirely-in-it-for-the-money Antiques Roadshow which most people only watched so they could go “Ah, she was expecting more than that!” when the people who owned the antiques tried to express shock at the size of the valuation of their thingy. Now, however, we’re in it for the money, as Bargain Hunt, Cash In The Attic, Car Booty and, in the case of our subject here, Flog It! quickly confirm in their title sequences.
This uncomfortably mercenary attitude really is not helped by Mr Martin. He has a peculiarly creepy, eerie presence, that of a man who really wants you to say a lot of things but isn’t actually listening to any of them. He has the habit of leaping right on top of anything he can latch onto and agreeing with it – “So where are you going on holiday?” “North Wales -” “OhNorthWales! I love going there!” etc. -and that thing that these daytime presenters do, of hovering that bit too close, being that bit too intrusive, being on-screen way, way too much. He’s a great one for the arm around the shoulder. Then there’s the pretending to care in the human interest stories of the sellers, the shoe-horning of the stories onto the people. When the items go to auction he’s always right at the back of the hall with the seller and his expert valuer (who wears a suit – Paul, being a hip young presenting type, has hair like James May and a pastel coloured shirt with exactly two buttons undone), and the first thing he asks – “Now, if this were to meet its estimate, what would you do with the money?” He always seems to look away as they’re telling him this too. He may just be focusing on when the lot’s coming up, but just comes off as though he really couldn’t give a toss. The focus is always on how much it’ll make, how collectible is it, how much more would it be worth if…
And the really odd thing is Flog It! seems to be aware of this and feels a bit guilty about it. There are therefore brief historical bits about antiques and an ‘in-depth’ analysis of the qualities of the items. But this show is called Flog It!, and that’s something Martin has no trouble in doing, insincerity seemingly dripping from every pore as he congratulates or commiserates the seller afterwards, arm round the shoulder, “Isn’t that amazing?/Oh, that’s a shame” before congratulating/mock-haranguing the expert, then “Well, we’ve managed to make some dreams come true here today/Well, it’s a shame that we couldn’t make it happen, but have you enjoyed yourselves?”
It’s the token nods, though, that get me, the attempts to try and ‘educate’, the attempts by Martin to show that hey, he’s more than just a pretty face that’s eerily reminiscent of James May, he knows about antiques as well. It’s like McDonald’s pimping its salads and healthy food range. I bought one of their new low-fat chickeny things the other day. A man on the bus told me that it fucking stank. He had a point. 2/10
Great Ceefax TV Listings Of Our Time
0600: TELETUBBIES– Extended weekend edition
Minor Public Service Announcement
Freaky Trigger favourites Big & Rich’s Horse Of A Different Color album gets its official UK release on the 6th of September.