OFCOM steps up enquiry into whether idiots are ‘fit to hold TV licence’
With televisions widely available without much more than a buy-you-and-leave, there is a real danger that ‘culture’ could begin to pander to mouth-breathers with awful taste, leaving educated viewers languishing in BBC 4. Indeed, the quest for market share has already seen BBC News 24 replaced with a puppet donkey that eats marbles, and ITV has given up trying completely.
‘With success measured by audience share, Ofcom is concerned that all terrestrial output could soon descend to a single, singing kitten that falls off a piano,’ claimed spokesman Daniel Hughbrough. ‘It’s already beating Newsnight in the ratings, despite it being on a continuous, 15 second loop with little possibility of it challenging anyone’s perceptions.’
Producers have dressed Jeremy Paxman in increasingly bizarre costumes and reintroduced Bagpuss to stem the decline, but are struggling to find politicians willing to be interviewed in clown pants while being hosed with custard, particularly when Nick Clegg is on holiday.
Hughbrough believes that it’s right to listen to the audience, but only if the audience is carefully vetted first. ‘If you don’t appreciate Shakespeare, costume dramas or the weekly ‘Huffy Book Review’, then you probably can’t be trusted to watch the right thing.’
Some in the industry think that an outright ‘benny ban’ is unnecessary. Nigel Thorpe of Channel 5 believes a subtle reappraisal of what constitutes ‘art’ is all that’s required. ‘Is a wall covered in dead butterflies art? A lot of thick people won’t understand the question. But if we tell them an hour-long show of some boobs jiggling to house music is ‘art’, I’m confident we’ll find a dedicated audience.’
Hughbrough isn’t convinced. ‘We’ve already witnessed programmes that actively reduce a viewer’s IQ, to the point where they almost believe Simon Cowell’s opinions matter,’ he claimed. Hughbrough proposes making CBeebies available on prescription to the more ‘challenged’ of thick scummers, with a view to gradually weening them onto BBC 3.
Hughbrough denied his stance was a ‘backdoor’ to wrestling market dominance from BSkyB. ‘On the contrary, I really enjoy ‘Madmen’,’ he claimed. ‘And there’s some great stuff on ‘Red Hot and Horny’, if you’re clever enough to watch it ironically.’Click to send this story to a friend
Posted: Apr 26th, 2012 by waylandsmithy
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