2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

Clip Shows: Stop the madness

24 April 2004

How much self-congratulation does the BBC need? Before long the BBC schedules will consist of:


BBC1: 6am-3am. Aren't We Great? A tribute to the sheer genius of everyone involved in BBC1.

BBC2: 6am-3am. Aren't We Great '2'? A tribute to the sheer genius of everyone involved in BBC2.

BBC3: 6am-3am. BBC3: Titan Among Entertainment Channels. A tribute to the sheer genius of the people who brought us Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

BBC 4: 6am-3am. Noone Watches Us, But We Don't Care (Because We're Geniuses). A tribute to the forgotten heroes of BBC digital expansion.


What prompts yet another slightly deranged attack on the BBC? The answer is, of course, Happy Birthday BBC2. Yes, another three-hour compilation of classic clips, talking heads and lightweight analysis, hot on the heels of Britain's Best Sitcoms, another love-in for the BBC.

There's something intrinsically rubbish about this sort of TV. Apart from the self-congratulation, most of the clips are incredibly familiar (Pete'n'Dud's Greta Garbo sketch, the 'Gissa job!' nutting scene, Bob Peck looking glum in Edge of Darkness, etc.) and there's the assumption that the public has an endless appetite for disjointed archive shows. If BBC2 wants to celebrate its own programming, why not put on a series of whole shows, maybe with a 30 second precis giving the context? It's possible that we might just be able to sit through half an hour of Joan Bakewell interviewing people from the 60s without getting
hopelessly confused because she isn't Cat Deely.

However, there's a slight suspicion that if BBC2 showed some of these programmes in their entirety, they might not turn out to be as great as the channel claims. Happy Birthday BBC2 hinted at this, showing the bafflingly unfunny sketch in which Pete'n'Dud are lowered into the Thames while playing a piano. (It makes you wonder if the BBC Comedy Department was once staffed by people who spent all day going 'Peter Sellers with a turnip! That's funny! Dudley Moore dancing with Andre Previn! That's funny! Angela Rippon in a barrel! That's funny! Spike Milligan with a hat! That's...')

But the point remains - if you're going to show archive material, let's see the actual programmes, not just annoying little snippets. Considering BBC2 has just shown about four million hours of snooker, you could probably squeeze in a re-run of Boys from the Blackstuff.

Most of all, maybe the BBC should give the clips-and-talking- heads format a rest. But in TV, when one show has a modicum of success, you can bet there's plenty more of the same in the pipeline. Anyone for an evening of highlights from Songs of Praise?



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved