Telly time

Me and the zoefruitcakethe fruit cake were discussing telly during a blustery walk through the Warwickshire countryside and we thought about what sort of programmes you would run if you owned a television station for a day and could schedule any show you wanted to.

The premise being that you have 24 hours to fill with programmes. So I thought, well you would need news. You’d have news at the start of the day, at lunch, early evening and late evening. So that would be 2 hours filled. Then you would need documentaries, daytime telly, game shows and the like. But what sort of programmes would YOU want to see? What sort of documentaries interest you?

Now I’m not promising anything, but if I get some good responses, I might make them….just for shits and giggles.

So tell me…in comments of course…and if you’re interactively inclined….if you could have any programme made….what would you make? If you could watch any programme….what would you watch?

TV For sale

Last night I thought I’d watch some TV. So I picked up the TV guide and thumbed through it with the express intention of finding something to watch. My head exploded with despair. After I picked up the pieces of skull and brain I had splattered all over the living room I analysed the scheduled programmes I had missed.



UK TV

For the benefit of our Merrycan and European cousins let me explain how TV works in the UK. If you want a television receiver in your house you must have a licence. You can have a black and white CCTV monitor without a licence as long as the equipment is not capable of receiving a television signal. To have video recorders, TV’s or even a Computer with a TV card, regardless of whether they are connected to an aerial or not, in the UK you must have a TV licence.

The proceeds of which go to fund the BBC who make great TV programmes when they try. Furthermore, the BBC are also allowed to raise revenue by selling their programming to other networks worldwide. However, they are unable to make revenue by advertising so unlike in Merrycar where…

<Commercial Break>

Join the army from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.

Buy this car, it will make you seem more financially buoyant than your friends. Encourage your partner to buy one too that way you can feel more superior to your neighbour who never seem to invite you their kinky sex parties

</commercial break>

you get adverts every two minutes and the programmes are really just advertising space fillers

<Commercial Break>

 

 

 

Slurpro from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.

Have no life? Text “Mugme” to 833434 and get a free ringtone every 20 minutes (The ringtone is free but the text will cost you £4305 a letter) Go on! Your life will seem pointless and might as well end unless you have these ringtones!

</commercial break>

which can get a bit annoying after a while. Anyway because I pay just over £100 a year to the government BBC I get to watch a handful of advertisement free channels. Further more, if I feel I want to be sold to or have every intricate moment of a drama explained to me as though I am a thicko with no clue whatsoever then I can watch ITV who gain their revenue mostly from the sale of advertising space, or I can enjoy the relative “I’m immune to advertising but I’ll watch this interestingly subversive factual current affairs programme aimed at the 20-45 age bracket” chinstrokery of Channel 4 (when they are not showing Big Pervert or something). Indeed, if I feel that I haven’t had enough Americanisation I can tune into Channel 5 and get a fix of syrupy slush whenever I feel like it.

That is until recently. When the powers that be decided that 5 channels isn’t enough and we needed to fall inline with the rest of the world and have Digital TV. Behold Freeview. A multi channel sewer of creativity, behold several other BBC channels (for free) such as BBC3, BBC4, BBC News 24, CBBC (for kiddies), CBeebies (for kiddies that don’t know they are kiddies yet), ITV2, ITV 3 and ITV-somewhere-near-the-bottom-of-the-list-so-you-never-remember-its-there-4, More4, E4 (for yoofs that do EEE’s man), Film Four, UKTV Hitler Coast Alan Titchmarsh’s Natural History History, Q-PVC, Bid up, Bid down, Bid sideways all manner of shite and dirge.

All for free.

Because I pay just over £140 a year.

Good that isn’t it?

What’s more is some people pay a further £400 a year for the privilege of watching everything that has been shown on the free channels in the past again and again, more American TV and the experience of being sold to every 15 minutes (yet more adverts).

Ace.

I dont agree with paying twice for something I’ve already paid for so instead I tend to download illegally programmes I really want to watch (ie reruns of old Dr Who and Lost) or rent and rip via LOVEFilm. But each to their own I suppose.


Anyway I read the TV schedule and this is some of the “quality” televisual treats available for the general British public:-

fatdogMy Dog is Fat and So am I

Fat people and their fat dogs. Gripping reality TV.

NOT

bread-head-and-feet
Freaky Foods

– Fat? Watching telly? Hell you’ll never eat again after watching this (Though you’ll still watch telly…wont you?)

 

 

Celebrity Dog Superstars

– the public vote for their favourite celebrity so that the rescued dog they are looking after doesn’t get put down

Celebrity Knitwork

The public vote on their favourite celebrities knitting patterns. This week Imoelda Staunton knits a spectacle case out of her own navel fluff

38007_2 Something without that annoying prick Patrick Keilty

A programme, possibly the news, without Patrick Keilty. His mum will be disappointed

 

 

 

 

 

fogle_676528a

 

Something with Ben Fogel in it

He’s not on telly enough these days so slap a repeat on and nobody will notice.

 

 

I was a Celebrity But I Bummed Some Rabbits in Michael Barrymore’s Swimming Pool While off my face on Crystal Meth Make Me Famous Again (Please)

Washed up has-beens vie to be famous once more for 15 weeks while they try to rebuild their career by doing things they wouldn’t normally lower themselves to do had they still had some self respect left.

 

Don’t Poke Me with a Spoonimages

Situation comedy, probably about a married couple who secretly hate each other and the trials and tribulations of everyday life with teenagers. With canned laughter in case you don’t know where to laugh.

 

 

Holidays you’ll never afford

– Watch dreamily as a washed up public school ponce that used to be an interior designer shows you “holidays you’ll never afford unless you sell your children for medical experiments and maybe burn your house down for the insurance” in far off countries you’ve never heard of and are probably made up anyway.

 

17.6

IF…The World Still Had Protozoan Sludge

– Popular science scientists and people crying out for research grants discuss what 21st century life might be like if the world was still covered in Protozoan sludge in an effort to justify the millions of pounds already wasted on them by popular Universities.

 

 

 

 

My Mother was Adolf Hitler

Someone like Adam Hart-Davies bumbles about the countryside on a unicycle interviewing friends of Nelly Bainbridge of Stithians who always claimed to be Adolf Hitler who escaped occupied Germany in a shoe box and had a sex change to disguise his identity.

 

 

 

 

 

Old King Coal

Soap Opera set in Yorkshire following the fortunes and struggles of a typical family during the Arthur Scargill era. Cunningly set at a time where if the soap isn’t popular they can end the series by closing darn t’pit. Starring Dr Who’s David Tennant as Arthur Scargill.

 

 

 

Dead Hicks

Science fiction drama for thirty-somethings filmed in and around Solihull where every week parts of which are substitute for far off places such as Delhi, New York and Birmingham. This week the team are visited by their arch-nemesis, the sinister Tax Inspector (played by Patrick Keilty)

I’m so grateful I spend £142 a year on this quality programming. Its like Waitrose selling Kwiksave No Frills Bread. After all it must be good if Waitrose sell it!


This post was originally posted on my Livejournal in 2007

Money

It makes the world go round. Or so they say.

Personally I was under the impression it was the gravitational pull of the celestial spheres but then I’m not a physicist.

The news in the UK today is a buzz with talk about the BBC, “commercial sensitivity” and the salaries they pay to the presenters and stars.

Now, some background. If you’ve been paying attention you can skip this bit and go a bit further down, unless you don’t know what the BBC is in which case keep reading.

 

What happened was, some enterprising hack requested the expenses details of parliamentary MPs. The MPs didn’t like this because it showed some of them were up to dodgy doings and basically having it away with public money. So. To try and deflect the attention in an almost “Yeah but they’re worse” kind of way, the MPs and those critical of the BBC say “Well what about good old Auntie Beeb?”

Now if you didn’t know, the BBC is a public body funded by a television licence fee. If you own a telly in the UK, you buy a licence. This gives you permission to watch telly and you get 5 terrestrial channels and, more recently, a zillion digital channels for about £150 ($240)  a year. The majority of this fee goes to fund the two terrestrial BBC channels, the numerous BBC backed digital channels, the BBC radio stations (Local and national), BBC drama, films and whatnot. Which, if you think about it, is a bally good deal. The other terrestrial public service channels, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 get a tiny bit of this licence fee and the rest of their money comes from advertising. The satellite stuff is on top of that and you pay something like £360 a year for a load of American dramas which are endlessly repeated ad nauseam. Which is a bit shit really, when you think about it.

So as the BBC is a public body, the MPs and critics have been saying “Tell us what you do with the money you get from the public then”. This is partly a distraction, but also a way of gaining the favour of Mr Murdoch (who owns the satellite broadcasting services in the UK, most of the newspapers and is a vitriolic critic of the BBC Licence fee).

First came the expenses. Nothing too controversial in a “Yaa boo sucks to you” kind of way.

Then some tried to make a fuss about £100 for a bunch of flowers but they were jolly nice flowers and so really you couldn’t complain really as they weren’t a duck house.

Then others pointed out that there was a substantial amount of cash going to the presenters in salaries.

Which brings us to today. The BBC finally admitted paying a total sum of £230million to artists, presenters, musicians and other contributors. [Source] but refused to disclose how much individual salaries were because such information is “Commercially sensitive”.

It is rumoured that the likes of Jonathan Ross command salaries in the millions. Not bad for a bit of prerecorded radio babbling and an hour worth of chit chat with your mates. Not bad at all. Is it? But I’m sure Mr Ross puts a lot of his talent into this and it must strain him and wear him out at the end of the day so he must surely deserve such a high figure.

However, being the selfless chap that I like to portray myself as, if I was a celeb reliant on the pay of Auntie Beeb I’d want to do all I could for my paymasters. In a selfless act I would publish my salary just to show that I don’t get paid all that much really for my amazing talents and that I deserve more. And that the fact that I am working for the BBC in a celebrity capacity is only out of charity and respect for a great and innovative British institution.

So that’s what I’m calling on the celebs to do. Don’t wait for the BBC to announce how much you earn. Get in there first. Think of the publicity. Think about how publishing details about your low salary will just highlight how much respect, charity and selflessness you have. The media, which you so adore and who put you were you are today, will be most grateful too and will no doubt show you as humble talented people deserving much much more than you are worth.

That way, struggling talentless media students and other wannabees can also admire your sacrifice and aspire to be just like you too. They can stop moaning about not being able to get their first foot on the ladder and perhaps realise that being in the spot light isn’t worth all that much really.

Unless….of course….that’s all bollocks and you do actually command ridiculous salaries for your vacuous pathetic talentlessness as you ponce about in the public eye getting people to send their money into help those less fortunate than themselves before fucking off to the Seychelles for the weekend on your private jet…..In which case…you should be bloody ashamed of yourself for ripping off the public that pay your salary and not offering to take a fraction of the bank filling sum you receive out of the public pot each year. That way the BBC can pay the behind the scenes people (ie those that actually matter) better salaries and get on with making better and more programmes which they can showcase on the world stage…..Strictly Come Dancing my arse….

Dance pants

I’ve had an idea for a new TV show. Looking at current and past trends in British TV shows I think any programme commissioning bod reading this would be foolish not to create the following television programme. It would be a definite success.

The Dancing DIY Property Developing Fashion Disasters On Ice Factor

I think that covers all the things that seem to be popular at the moment.

It could be presented by Brian Cox (since his return from the US he seems to be on everything these days), Ant and Dec (modern day Cannon and Ball), Cat Deeley (modern day Cilla Black) and Graham Norton (a Terry Wogan/Larry Grayson fusion). With extra bits by Davina McCall and some entertainment (in the form of song and shouting) by John Barrowman.

It’s a sure fire rating success.

Money

There was a thing on the breakfast telly this morning about how the credit card companies have got these wrist band things that you wave about in front of a scanner instead of handing over cash. True to form this got me thinking.

Reasons I like having cash in my pocket

  • It’s handy
  • Soon as I have money on my person people remind me I owe for this that and the other
  • I like to jiggle the coins in my pocket when I’m waiting or loitering
  • Coins can be used to undo some screws
  • The feeling of weight in ones pocket is weirdly assuring
  • You can put it in your sock and bash people on the head with it
  • I can pay people for things

Reasons I don’t like having cash in my pocket

  • It sometimes falls out and slips down the side of the couch
  • The though of carrying some plague victims coinage round in my pocket makes me feel uneasy
  • It jingles when you run
  • People have this uncanny psychic knowledge that you have cash and they want some for something or other
  • Living in the back-o-beyond means to obtain cash I need to drive 4 miles to the nearest cash machine

Replacing it with a wrist band…hmmm I dunno…that just makes me feel futuristic. I don’t like that.

The drive to work is becoming tedious. Like nearly every day theres a different stretch of Pontefract Road with some form of road works on it. The journey back isn’t that much better (I go a different way home than I go to work) and made worse by idiot drivers who seem to be pandemic across the Yorkshire region.

  • In the UK “Give Way” means give way to oncoming traffic. It doesn’t mean get pissed off with people because they wont let you out at a junction.
  • If there is a parked car on your side of the road and going round it would mean you are travelling in the oncoming lane you GIVE WAY to oncoming traffic not chance your luck at squeezing in between.
  • Failing to indicate on roundabouts, parking on tight bends and not using the correct lane on a roundabout all seem to be a popular pastimes.
  • The few courteous drivers that there are here are too courteous letting every fucker and his wife in at junctions

Last night I took it upon myself to clean the innards of my computer. I took all the components out and put them in the dishwasher So I took the side panel off and sucked out the biggest dust puppy I’ve ever seen. No wonder my computer was overheating! Dust puppy!? More like dust Doberman!

I also took the opportunity to remove the Soundblaster Audigy that I never use (the motherboard’s onboard sound card is much better IMO) and put in the TV Card I never use. It was only after I’d put everything back in place that I realised the analog signal for TV in the UK is being switched off soon (2010 or summat) which will render the TV card defunct. Furthermore, the reception in my lead lined house could only manage a grainy picture of Lord Levy, attributed to the crappy portable aerial I had to use. So I think I’ll whip it out again. Likewise I’ll disconnect the scanner I never use and free up some system resources.

Anyway the dust clearing worked and the temperature thingie registered a cool 46°C rather than the warm 53°C. Maybe now Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 will work without rebooting every time a complex bit of graphics is drawn. Thats something that is really pissing me off at the moment because like every time I sit down to play it something happens and I have to go elsewhere or the system reboots or aliens attack my room or the stock markets crash or something. I’m very close to giving it up as a bad job and just watch crap TV all night instead.

Last night I also watched the penultimate episode of 5 Days on BBC1. I reckon I know who did it now 😉

Reports

First off, from London, storm1jet2 texted and is ok, and my big high-flyer solicitor friend Tim (whom I see at Christmas) also let me know he is ok. We are still waiting to hear from “Little gay” Chris. But he’s probably in Singapore or Paris making clothes for someone famous. I don’t really want to go into anything about the bombings, mainly because I don’t know anything other than what I hear, see and read. In times like this its best to keep an open mind as to what’s gone on and not speculate or swallow all of the media we are fed.

The chaps in the office have Radio 2 on who are broadcasting bulletins nearly every 5 minutes. Yet little has changed. Nothing new to report, although occasionally someone will speculate on something and then moments later get their speculation disregarded because of something else. I’ll probably be flamed for saying this but there are other things going on in the world, G8 protests etc. yet the bombings seem to have blanketed most of the other news. Big news I suppose. But there’s only so much you can report without repeating yourself incessantly.

In the pub at lunch time they had the TV on Sky news, I heard and saw the same items being read about 4 times in 30 minutes, pictures of the damaged bus and live footage of a street where these guys were pushing these cages up and down the street. Cage pushing being completely newsworthy. Pointless news coverage! Yes I know people are concerned and worried about loved ones and things, I’m not going on about that. I do have compassion (despite what some people may think about me). What I am going on about is the 24 hour media circus constantly braying on about the same bits of news until something happens like an investigator farts or someone spots a box in a doorway and we end up with 2 hours of footage of a box, professors from the University of Bangladesh discussing boxes and parliament footage from right wing back benchers demanding a ban on boxes. The same treatment was given to the 9/11 events, the 12/27 tsunami and the death of the Pope. Endless…tiresome. Almost akin to 1960’s psychological torture. It got so bad that Ifan, the Landlord, flicked over to the cricket.

Another, unrelated, example is BBC breakfast. Yesterday when I turned on Breakfast (at about 7:55) it went like this.

Tail end of local weather
Graphics and music
Cue Dermot Murnanhahnehanmanan
Dermot (wearing a huge fuck off grin) Hello the Olympic committee results will be announced at 12ish today so I’m in Singapore and you’re not! Look at me! I’m in Singapore! Wooo!! Now back to Sian in London
Sian Fuck off Dermot you lucky bastard

Like why send him all that way to Singapore? What the fuck can he do there that he cant do from here other than grin his big “Look at me” grin? Ok at least Natasha Kaplinski (who secretly fancies me honest) in Kenya is curiously interesting for a brief angstroms of a second before she ponces about showing off her tan and talking to a bloke who milks elephants or something. But all Dermot seemed to do, from his studio overlooking the Singaporian skyline, was link to reporters at the venue itself!

A final example, is like when someone gets shot or sent to prison for stealing a cat they sometimes show the outside of their house. Why?! Like knowing where someone lives makes an ounce of difference as to what’s happened. Local BBC news is bad for this and also for using stock footage. Either that or there’s this couple that walk up and down Blackpool Promenade at the same time everyday for the past 5 years and just happen to time their passage passed the camera perfectly!

Why is it that these news corporations feel the need to report on things like this with tiresome repetitiveness? I know just watching a pretty face reading out the news while some background graphic changes is not very interesting. But neither is repeating the same thing over and over again. Really? Is it?? I mean like just think about repeating the same thing over and over again? It gets repetitive repeating things over and over really doesn’t it? I spoke to a professor here at the University of Liverpool who has written many books about repeating.

stegzy – Prof Proff Proph would you like to explain why we need to go into close detail and repeat ourselves time and time again?
Prof Proph – Yes I think I would like to explain in detail why we have the need to go into detail and repeat ourselves. We like to repeat ourselves because we like to know as much detail as we can about things. This is normal and I have in the past gone on about detail and why going into detail is important and crucial to our development of detail and incessant repeating of the same facts over and over again.
stegzy – I’m sorry I have to interrupt you there as we go live to the House of Commons where we have a motion raised by Daley Maylereadr MP for somewhere in Surrey
Cut to House of Commons
MP I suggest to this house that repetitiveness and fine detail should be banned and so should fine detail and repetitiveness. In fact I raise the motion that fine detail and repetitiveness should be made illegal as it only assists the rise in terrorism and repetitiveness. And should have an ID card too!

Anyway, I’ll shut up about it now.

If you know someone injured, missing or killed then you have my sympathy and thoughts. I don’t want to go on and on like BBC News 24. I’m going to have a news break for a couple of days I think.