End this face-changing madness! I cry over at Proven By Science. There is no question that CGI techniques have totally changed how documentaries are presented, though. I saw Panorama for the first time in ages on Sunday night, a documentary in which the Panorama team invented an unhealthy mousse product and proceeded to sell it to kiddies (this bit somewhat fudged, probably because the ‘new brand’ design looked like a Blue Peter competition runner-up). It used no CGI and had to repeatedly illustrate its voiceover with the same shot of mousse pots clanking off a production line, sometimes in slow motion for added portentiousness. This was horribly reminiscent of when 70s Play School would go ‘through the round window’ for an educational film on a plastics factory, and if this is the general standard of Panorama direction it’s no wonder the series is going to be revamped with pantomime horses and mud fights.

So despite the dreadful ‘battle scenes’ of mail-clad legs on history docs I say CGI = good thing. Which is not to say the old ways were always charmless. Before Panorama I caught a bit of BBC Parliament, which was occupying its empty weekend by repeating in full its Election 1974 coverage (Carmodic heaven!). This had me and my Dad enraptured at the fashions and fonts. In one sense little has changed – there was a red-and-blue map of London, divided by constituency and reflecting the changes on the night. In another sense everything has – the map was made of wood and the size of a coffee table, its constituencies giant jigsaw puzzle pieces.