Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Robbie Coltrane: B-Road Britain, ITV1
The steps ITV take in producing a prime-time programme.
1. See what is popular on the BBC and Channel 4, which is braided with an originality well beyond them. In this case Coast.
2. Implement a highly derivative show. In this case, whereas Coast sought out the peculiar tales that flavour the outline of Britain, ITV blunder through the middle of the country in the hope of stumbling upon something interesting.
3. Add a celebrity, it doesn’t matter if they have talent or not just someone idiots will turn on their TV to watch as if being in the glare of a famous face is enough to beguile the mind for an hour.
4. Unintentionally make the celebrity as repellent as possible. Here the charismatic Robbie Coltrane is reduced to the role of an obnoxious Steve Coogan grotesque as he aimlessly ambles from dull location to duller location.
5. Use language that suggests passion, authenticity and originality but frame it in such a way that drains it of all traces of the aforementioned attributes: “I’ll be trying to find the heart and soul of Britain along the way.”
6. Remember that most of your viewers are cramped in soulless urban dwellings and so twist the truth of what lies outside the city boundaries. The Chiltern Hills are “just 30 miles out of London but are a completely different world”.
7. Strip quaint local traditions of all their unique charm such as the weighing of the mayor of High Wycombe or the game involving a scrum between two villages in Leicestershire.
8. Muddle innovation and beauty with dreariness and banality. Whose idea was it to visit the disc golf centre? This is perhaps the most pointless sport in the world. Throwing a Frisbee into a hanging basket is about as much a sport as eyebrow hurdling.
In the Flesh: Why we should be shouting about this more
Amid the tremendous bevy of high quality programmes delivered over the past few months – Prey , Happy Valley , From There to Here ...
What to Expect from The Lady Vanishes
Sunday night has long been the home of period drama on BBC One with recent examples being Upstairs Downstairs and Call the Midwife. Thi...
Saturday Essay: Derren Brown: The Guilt Trip: a step too far or an elaborate hoax?
Image Credit: Channel 4 Derren wields a croquet mallet in front of the 'murder' scene As predicted, Derren Brown's shows a...
Ben Miller on comedy start
Death in Paradise star Ben Miller has been modelling new suits for Marks & Spencer. In this interview he discusses meeting his ...
ITV launches new Drama trailer
Today (Monday 14th January 2013) ITV1 became ITV. I know nobody likes change do they? With the rebrand came a new trailer showcasing the for...
Top 5 TV shows for teenagers
No other time in our lives compares to the torridly dramatic period of our teenage years. Fear not though. For those of you who still hav...
TheCustard chats to Sally Wainwright for Happy Valley.
Tuesday sees the start of a fantastic new six-part drama on BBC ONE The series, entitled Happy Valley centres around policewoman Catheri...
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Series 8, BBC1
1 – Sally Lindsay being forced to watch her appearance with the chart-topping St Winifred's School Choir – and then being embarrassed as...