Impromptu Telly Review.
Thug Colleague: How. Tired. Y’want in on this?
Me: FUCK. What?
T.C: Top five most hated television programmes?
It’s better than his enquiry as to who my ‘arch-nemesis’ in the workplace is, but I have deadlines screaming at me like I owe them money, three different departments of my silly company doing the same, six clients who do not seem to know what the term ‘deadline’ actually means and ninety minutes to tie the whole thing up.
Me: Yeah, O.K. then.
Here are my answers, and reasons (if required):
Popworld, Channel 4.
Two charisma-free mannequins perform the most painfully over-rehearsed ‘spontaneous’ banter whilst pretending to laugh at their own obviously scripted and unfunny ‘jokes’ whilst asking uninteresting questions of uninteresting popstrels and banging on about ‘festivals’ and stuff. They wouldn’t be invited round my house in a million years. I don’t hate it because it was once quite good. I hate it because it is shit.
Anything Featuring the ‘Talents’ Of Alex Zane, Any Channel.
No explanation required.
That Dreadful Bob Grundy-Hosted History of the North of England Thing, BBC1
I can’t even be bothered to look-up it’s real name. It makes Countryfile seem avant-garde. Do you know that feeling of dread that used to creep into the pit of your stomach on a Sunday night before school when Bullseye came on the telly? It’s like someone distilled that, cooked it up and fucking mainlined it into you. In a massively unlikely footnote, Thug Colleague has had business dealings with the man in question (attempting to flog his DVDs to an uninterested public) and reports that he is ‘a cunt’.
Something for the Weekend, BBC2
I can only assume that the sorry enterprise was born of this scenario:
Exec 1: We need some sort of Sunday-morning ‘magazine show’ made-up of clips from the previous week’s telly that is totally unlike the omnibus This Morning on the other channel which features the deep likeability of Philip Schofield and the unique combination of sexiness and equal likeability that is Holly Willoughby. You know, the one people actually enjoy? But have it be almost identical to that. Whilst being different.
Exec 2: No problem. We’ll just assemble a bunch of feckless z-list celebrities and no-marks with all the charm of my foreskin and with no chemistry whatsoever to pretend they don’t secretly hate each other any more than the general public actually hates each and every one of them individually and then – twist coming – throw in a cocktail-maker who appears to be a hairs-breadth away from downing a mojito in a one-er and chinning the lot of them.
Exec 1: Perfect.
Any Cookery Show Featuring Rick Stein. Any Channel, But Usually BBC2.
A controversial choice as it turned out. But let me ask you this: could you spend more than an hour in his company without wanting to grind your teeth on his worthy skull? No, you couldn’t. And he always smells of fish, whilst constantly quacking-on about it. It’s fish, Rick. Get over it.
Several people list that “fuckin 10 O’Clock Show shite” in their top five, and I briefly argue. But even I have to concede that I WANT to like it more than I ACTUALLY do.
I look at my watch and realise I shall now be working late or face the wrath of a client named Wayne, who is built like a brick-layer and sports the name ‘Miss Kitty’ after dark. True.