Monday, 24 January 2011

You Have To Laugh

The revolting Jonathan Ross gushed over the execrable 10 O'Clock Live, although it is a very old-fashioned concept, and over his vile little partner in crime, Russell Brand, who at least had the good manners not to soil this country with his presence in order to collect his Lifetime Achievement Award. But the other such Award went to Roy Clarke. And the viewing public conferred the title of Queen of Comedy, no less, on Miranda Hart.

Chat shows, Armstrong & Miller, Mitchell & Webb, even Peep Show in many ways. And the most talked-about sit com of last season, even if it was not quite my cup of tea, was so old-school that each episode concluded with a "You have been watching" slot like Dad's Army or 'Allo, 'Allo. The BBC scheduled it against Coronation Street, the tactic once used by Michael Grade in order to kill off Doctor Who. But to no avail.

As in so many other ways, Britain has come out the other side where television is concerned. In some cases interspersed with advertisements for butter by the country squire that Johnny Rotten has become, we settle down in enormous numbers to a talent contest, to a ballroom dancing competition hosted by Bruce Forsyth, to a costume drama about the Edwardian aristocracy and their servants, to Doctor Who, and to two thoroughly domestic soap operas, one of which has not been out of the top 10 in any week since December 1960.


  1. She should count herself lucky that she was invited, although she is probably too sensible to have cared if she hadn't been.

  2. Red Dwarf was never so much as invited to the British Comedy Awards, not even when it was BBC Two's highest rated programme of any kind.

    As they fawned over Roy Clarke, did anyone bother to ask whether the event had acknowledged the existence of any of his shows while they were being shown?