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A message to the TV industry

Peter Barron | 12:54 UK time, Tuesday, 21 August 2007

This weekend around 2000 representatives of the television industry will gather in Edinburgh for the International TV Festival. Traditionally the festival offers the chance for those for make their living in TV to discuss the issues and challenges of the moment and, yes, indulge in plenty of socialising and networking too.

Newsnight logoAs one of the organisers of the event, I've been involved in planning what to discuss. To be honest, it's been a bit of a no-brainer in what has already been coined TV's annus horribilis. The crisis of trust in TV - painfully exposed in a series of revelations about phoney phone-ins and faked footage - will rightly dominate the discussion both on the floor of the festival and in the bars and restaurants, kicking off with the MacTaggart lecture from our own Jeremy Paxman.

But rather than contemplating our own navels all weekend we are also keen to hear what the all-important consumers of TV have made of the year's turbulent events. Several sessions will use opinion polling and vox pops from viewers, but here is your opportunity to send a message direct to the people who make and run TV in Britain.

Post your thoughts about the current state of television (not just TV news or the BBC) here, and we'll make sure they are posted both on the festival website and on the walls of the conference centre. How has your view of TV changed as a result of the events of the last few months? How well has the TV industry responded to the crisis? Has the newspapers' reporting of TV's predicament been proportionate?

Be as rude as you like, but no obscenities please or we won't be able to put your comment up.


  • 1.
  • At 01:41 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

My personal bugbear at the minute is the rise of the +1 channel. At a time when picture quality is decreasing rapidly on all platform, they represent a ridiculous waste of scarce bandwidth.

If it weren't for BBC4 and Film 4 I would probably never turn on the television. My Top 5 of things which I hate about TV today includes:

1. News programmes - we don't need to see a reporter standing "live" outside the ministry of defence in the rain at 10:30pm just because there is a story which concerns a statement issued by the ministry of defence earlier in the day. This is especially true when the "live" reporter simply repeats in different language what the anchor newsreader has just told us.

2. Celebrities "learn new skills" programmes - a self perpetuating and self serving, inward looking industry that only serves to make celebrities and media darlings richer.

3. Flogging a dead horse just because it once won the TV ratings equivalent of the Grand National. I'm thinking here of Coast/Building Britain etc as a prime examples. Get some new ideas.

4. Jeremy Vine presenting panorama in that striped scarf - he sounds like Troy McClure, the out of work actor character from the Simpsons. The programme also has too much emphasis on impact and not enough on education/information.

5. BBC news stories about BBC programmes. I thought the BBC weren't allowed to advertise?

  • 3.
  • At 02:13 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • James wrote:

My quick comment is also on the +1 channels. I would much rather that these channels are scrapped and replaced with new content or HD Channels.

To provide the viewers with the one more chance to catch a program provide services like iPlayer and 4oD that facilitate people to watch TV on their terms.

I have personally found these services to be liberating, and have resulted in me watching far more TV because I don't need to remember when to catch a program I can just queue it up for download.

  • 4.
  • At 02:14 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Cris wrote:

In a time of expanding channels and dwindling audiences the obsession with ratings can only in one direction: all channels conforming to the same criterea. Hence: Celebrity Come Dancing, Dancing on Ice with Celebraties, Oh lets put celebrities with Animals, oooh Animals relocating. imho it's just not worth wasting my time watching.

The phone scandals just expose the inherant arrogance of the broadcast industry and the stupidity of Audiences, if you phone a premium rate number you deserve to lose your money.

With over a million people marching against a disasterous war in Iraq a few years ago, I believe there isn't apathy in Politics. The government should perhaps take an inward look and see if the problems come from there.

right. rant over back to work.

  • 5.
  • At 02:23 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mark Heartford wrote:

I am an actor and I find that the money which is wasted on reailty shows is putting me and other creative people out of work because the industry has no balls to say these shows are now crap and its time to be creative again

if the industry takes one thing from this

use the money to pay for more plays/dramas/comedys etc

we here to work so give us the jobs to do

cheap tv no longer works so have the guts to to say NO to them and YES to us.

  • 6.
  • At 02:23 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Michael Asher wrote:

We have to endure adverts and brianless "elaborate hitec links " and trailers for BBC programmes.
But it is just not acceptable to have noise played during the reading of the news and very loud behind the headlines. It is not music, and it's not clever. Thank goodness for the internet, so I can minimise this stupid BBC withit rubbish. It just shows how without it the BBC realy is, to have stooped as low as this.

  • 7.
  • At 02:28 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Keith wrote:

The one thing the TV industry needs to do is to be honest and stop treating us all like idiots!!
In general programing by all means make programs that will attract the various members of the population but when it comes to news and current affairs just tell us the facts in a plain straight forward way without constant iterpretation and dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

  • 8.
  • At 02:44 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

What bugs me is the lack of original programing. BBC makes a dance show, ITV follows. Channel 4 makes a property show, the BBC follows. Come on, people make some original TV programs, and please, please, please make them decent and watchable. No more of this reality TV gunk. It's been done to death.

  • 9.
  • At 02:44 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

why no screenings of the talks online or a watch again feature? The media is known as the 4th estate and yet no tv coverage of what they are talking about? Odd. We televise political conferences. Suppose party conferences were closed. People would ask what is there to hide?

by having no online screenings it shows the top rung in media is not instinctively green minded [why travel when you can watch online?] or open minded nor tech minded about their profession?


my question would be when the success of terrorism as a publicity tactic depends upon it being reported to spread fear are the media by reporting it the dupes of the terrorists or accessories in it?

I'm one of the many 30-something people that TV eat up and spat out: TV was my life and it wasn't a very healthy one (I'm now 5 years clean and sober and a Priory qualified addictions therapist).

If the industry wants to hang on to talent it needs to work towards more sustainable working practices.

Many of the cock-ups that have come to light lately have been because people are under too much pressure.

I love TV and direct the odd film- but am really glad that I have a life outside of work now; and time to smell the flowers.

Sarah Graham

  • 11.
  • At 02:49 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

I was with a group of my 30 something friends recently discussing TV and not one of us could name a single BBC1 programme we had watched recently. There is nothing on that any of us want to watch because the majority seems to be aimed at half wits. By all means there is room for some low-brow TV but not when you're whole schedule is made up of it.

  • 12.
  • At 02:53 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • L Smith wrote:

There are several problems with TV today.

Copycatism - as soon as one programme maker produces a new idea, every channel has to produce a copycatted version. One original format for a talent show leads to several talent shows using the same format, leads to singing talent shows, dancing talent shows, then of course on to ice dancing talent shows . . .

Going Live - News programmes speaking to a reporter who is in the location where something will happen soon (but after the bulletin is over, obviously), in order to speculate about what might happen. We want facts, not guesswork and assumption, and they could as easily (and more cheaply) be presented in a TV studio. And of course, when the public are told to evacuate an area because of impending severe weather, it makes perfect sense for TV crews to head into the area.

View From Our Helicopter - we know what a jammed motorway or a flooded village look like, but you've spent money on a helicopter and pilot, so you're blooming well going to use them!

Perma-Trailler - once upon a time, you found out about forthcoming programmes by reading the listings in newspapers or magazines. Now, channels harp on about programmes several times a day, often for weeks before the programme is due to start. You can generally assume that the more a programme is plugged, the more desparate the channel is for people to view it, as they suspect the content will not be sufficiently interesting to hold audience attention beyond episode 1 . . .

Documentary Stars - why would we want a documentary to be presented by an expert, or someone who had spent time investigating the topic in question? Wouldn't it be more interesting to find out that an actress, sports star or author knows only what the script tells them? Maybe people will be daft enough to tune in to see the celebrity, and not worry about the poor mug who had to write the script in words of one syllable, so the star wouldn't need more than a dozen takes to get it pronounced right?

I guess we'll just have to face it - gone are the days when intelligent people could present innovative and educational programmes without the need to dress them up with pointless showbiz razzmatazz. I mean, who would watch a programme about mountain climbing, or crumbling historic buildings if it wasn't an ex-comedian presenting them? A series on bipolar disorder by a medical specialist? Of course not.

  • 13.
  • At 03:01 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Steven Whiting wrote:

I think in TV today we just need to cut the crap. Get rid of all the really cheap and awful daytime stuff that really doesn’t matter and is only viewed by students and housewives and plough the money back into quality dramas, documentaries. Its better to do a few things well than a lot of things badly. Video on Demand (VOD) is the only way to go

The industry in the UK needs to embrace and take advantage of new technology such as the Internet. Compared to the US we are way behind on Internet streaming of shows and at a good quality. US networks are proving HD stream over the internet and in the UK we are providing low quality downloads only available to people with a PC (I’m a Mac user with a bee in my bonnet). Europe and ISPs are trying to shut down this progression instead of embracing the fact that they could get a lot more customers. Broadcasters are reluctant to collaborate with non Broadcast bodies such as MySpace or Apple iTunes which make it easier for the audience to interact and consume the material…..come on Broadcasters take that leap.

VOD and interactivity are good but what seems to be forgotten is doing more things with active audiences. User generated content is getting better and Citizen Journalism is great but I think everyone is missing a trick. I don’t really want to pick the ending to casualty by pressing my red button. I want to find our more about that character and information that is going to influence my viewing of the show and knowing more than the average audience.

Everyone goes on about Mobile TV...its not going to catch on so stop flogging a dead horse. Just use the internet instead!

  • 14.
  • At 03:04 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jessics wrote:

Well I think the only good thing on TV *IS* reality tv. Much more interesting to see real people doing real things how ever mundane than a load of people who can't act and are getting paid far too much to do it.

  • 15.
  • At 03:04 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Paul Auber wrote:

I would like to complain abot the number of reality shows on TV, these are boring and as TV companies try to make them more exciting by putting together more diverse situation, people and events it leaves me feeling that would it not be easier to explore/invest more time and money in better Drama. Jekel and Hyde for instance was magificant not only for the drama but also for the modern approach it took in the directing and script, I loved cold feet for it's excellant scripts and modern approach to sitcoms.

Surely the future lies in modern inventive production of interesting scripts, developing characters keeping telling stories in facinating new ways.

Please let's give reality TV shows and talent contests the boot.

On the subject of phone ins - Let's give them the boot or atleast make them good value - Or give the money to charity.

  • 16.
  • At 03:11 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • jono wrote:

In some ways I'm pleased that TV is full of boring rubbish cuz that will help encourage people to do something more productive with their time. I liked BBC children's TV show 'why don't you' in the 80's because it made this point - perhaps it should be brought back?!

As far as the BBC is concerned - really good news website but news & current affairs on telly too "dumb-ed down" - it's patronising to the more intellectual audience & The Sun reading audience isn't that interested anyway (despite what the focus groups say - as a case in point, just look at the 'pretty' weather forecasts we now have - glossy presentation but totally useless). Also, too much air-time advertising BBC shows & raising the hype around them (the Eastenders ones are particularly bad - just cancel the whole darn show, please!) - we pay a licence fee so we don't get adverts (supposedly)

  • 17.
  • At 03:12 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Paul Auber wrote:

I would like to complain abot the number of reality shows on TV, these are boring and as TV companies try to make them more exciting by putting together more diverse situation, people and events it leaves me feeling that would it not be easier to explore/invest more time and money in better Drama. Jekel and Hyde for instance was magificant not only for the drama but also for the modern approach it took in the directing and script, I loved cold feet for it's excellant scripts and modern approach to sitcoms.

Surely the future lies in modern inventive production of interesting scripts, developing characters keeping telling stories in facinating new ways.

Please let's give reality TV shows and talent contests the boot.

On the subject of phone ins - Let's give them the boot or atleast make them good value - Or give the money to charity.

  • 18.
  • At 03:27 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jeff Parry wrote:

I think that TV has got what it has deserved this year. It has believed viewers to be gullible, and many are, for too long. I have the following criticisms:

1. TV News - Why do we have live links to reporters who are stood outside buildings that were empty hours earlier? We don't need this sort of irrelevant link.

2. Reality TV - Isn't it time that programmes such as Big Brother or I'm A Non-Entity Kill Me, were laid to rest?

3. Quality - As the channels fragment and multiply why is quality so low? Surely quality should be at the forefront of TV. If you want to obtain viewers then improve the quality of the product.

4. Cross Media Advertising - Why are Sky, ITV & BBC allowed to plug their programmes in news programmes. These are not news. I want to know what is hapening in the world not what film is about to come out or what TV programme some talentless celebrity has made that I'll never watch.

5. Natasha Kerplunk - What is she actually for? Serious journalist or pre-madonna?

  • 19.
  • At 03:28 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Stop treating us like goldfish. We don't need a quick resume of the previous half hour every time the camera moves location.
Don't keep repeating the same piece of film just to make a point either. Okay these are both good ways of padding out a programme to 50 minutes that could have filled half the time.

  • 20.
  • At 03:31 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Sam Clarke wrote:

I think this is going to be the trend of this topic-

Reality TV is past it's sell-by date.
The consumer wants to be educated again (after the years of mind numbing "celebrities" making fools of themselves)I personally want more informative and challenging programming.
It poses the question, children spend a lot of time watching dire television-could the level of current television standards be linked to children not grasping the basics of literacy and numeracy at school?
For the sake of the next generation please raise the benchmark.

  • 21.
  • At 03:33 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jez Lawrence wrote:

First of all - I'm not a consumer, or a customer, I'm a "viewer". I watch TV. I don't consume anything. In fact, I video a bunch of stuff so I'm exactly the opposite of a consumer, I'm a preserver - I duplicate what's there, I don't destroy it. God awful term. And since I do my absolute level best to ignore advertising and brands, you can count me out of that, too.

Secondly, as long as mainstream channels cater mostly to the lowest common denominator, standards will fall, and the collective IQ of the viewer will do likewise. Aim high, you silly people, and to hell with the advertising revenue - especially the BBC which doesn't have to worry about advertising revenue anyway.

It costs less to produce intelligent TV because you rarely have to spend a fortune on flashy effects and celebrity salaries to get the message across. And if you do spend money on those things, for goodness sake don't spend a pittance on the scriptwriter.

E.g. Big Brother - its a money spinner but must cost a fortune yet its still TV for the cranially challenged. But producing "Ganges"? The right camera crew, the natural world and a voiceover. Wonderful series probably cost less than a single friday night BB show.

Heroes - extremely silly premise, but fantastic script, acting and direction, and special effects that integrate, not dominate. Result - critically acclaimed show about superheroes of all things.
Mutant X - glossy, special effects driven, script, acting and direction worthy of a Mr Man book. Bag o'*****.

Ok, I'm picking and choosing what demonstrates my point best. But (/activate sarcasm /activate irony) that's ok, because media analysts do this all the time and of course the viewer doesn't ever notice (/end sarcasm /end irony).

Well, of course we do. So pack it in, please, and moving away from drama and general TV and onto newscasting/current affairs, PLEASE for goodness sake can you raise some standards on newscasting? I'm begging you, on my knees, please, please, PLEASE cover public interest, not what the public are interested in. No more celebrities in the news! No more bias in political reporting! No more calling one set of people freedom fighters and one set terrorists (just call them '[organisation] fighters' or something). I'd rather have stuffy RP speakers in starchy suits delivering facts in a monotone than silly beaming presenters making awful jokes and puns instead of delivering the news in an effort to be "accessible".

and I may sound like an old fuddy duddy, but I've only just turned 30, so yah boo sucks, ok? You don't have to be a generation out of date to despair at the modern media. But it helps.

*takes deep breath*.

Ok. I've vented. I feel better now.

  • 22.
  • At 03:33 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

1. Are viewers really so stupid to think that they have any influence via TV phone ins? Whether it is trying to win something or vote for someone or something - surely these consumers deserve everything they get? The answer is not to pick up the phone.....

2. I have a freeview box. How is TV improving when my signal from the Mendip receiver is so variable I only ever have a 50:50 chance of getting Cbeebies ? If the terrestrial signal from the same receiver gets to me then what happens to the 'better' digital signal?

3. Does it take two people to read the news and sport? Surely Fiona Bruce could swat up a little on the intricacies of football and cricket etc.? I'd be willing to explain enough for her to sound knowledgable.

4. How was it that ALL of the recent TV news coverage of the foot and mouth outbreak failed to address the single most amazing fact - there is still a farm in Surrey.

I thank you.

  • 23.
  • At 03:34 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • nick wrote:

I agree with most of Lucy's comments. Please remember though that UK tv is far far better than anything else in the world for contect, style and presentation. I live in italy and it really is the pits!

  • 24.
  • At 03:35 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • D Burnage wrote:

An interesting topic would be how active the TV companies are in the debate over OFCOM's announcement to sell off radio frequency bands which are threatening wireless use in the PMSE sectors. See for more information and a list of members who are involved.

Television is jumping on the charity bandwagon at the expense of smaller charities in the UK.

Too many programs are centered around the big TV based charities, such as Comic Relief, Sports Relief and Children in Need - at the expense of other UK charities.

How can we compete against the millions of pounds worth of advertising that these TV based charities get for nothing?

Every time TV raises money under these charities other charities suffer.


I believe TV should give other charities a fair crack of the whip and I don't just mean a token gesture.

Many charities in this country do tremendous work without the support of massive TV advertising, imagine what they could achieve if they did receive TV support.

TV companies should think hard about the consquenses of their actions.

Victor Bull

Director of Operations

Christian Hope International.

  • 26.
  • At 03:36 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Linda wrote:

It might be a nice idea to hear what the public are saying and possibly get back to them.

We rely on the media to be honest and true, we rely on the media to report honestly on the subjects and stories that worry the general public, after all they wouldn't be in work if not for the general public.

How do we trust any of the media or our wonderful Police force, when we can see how fraudulent they are. Do we have any really honest people in authority?

  • 27.
  • At 03:38 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • B Vincent wrote:

Why is the trust issue being viewed entirely in a black and white puritanical way with no shades of grey or understanding. Consider 3 cases?

Case 1: A childrens program that at the last minute has to have a member of staff call in because they didn't get a right answer.

My View? NO ISSUE: It's live, it's about entertainment for kids and that requires a degree of continuity, it's not taking something away from someone as there was no 'real' winner.

Case 2: A program about the indignity of a slow death that happens to catch the moment of passing into coma vs. death itself

My view? NO ISSUE: Would we have been more informed if the camera's held on until the final moment of death? I can't see how!

Case 3: A professional company running a large number of phone in quiz shows for extensive profit where the odds of winning are miniscule to begin with and then they further stacked against callers by picking winners long before the lines close.

My view? BIG ISSUE: Very large amounts of money being made from very gullible people in a completely unfair manner.

Yet case 1 and 2 get discussed in exactly the same way as case 3 and the new 'holier than though' reviews being undertaken appear to lump them all in the same basket.

Why is there no reflection of the differences of importance in these instances of audience deception? Why is there no grown up acceptance that all TV, including news and current affairs is at some level a dramatic representation? How real did you feel the answers were watching your last press conference?

  • 28.
  • At 03:42 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Janet Golds wrote:

How much longer can the BBC continue under the misapprehension that it is a public service broadcaster. It is funded by a public who have no choice in the matter and has a budget of billions. Yet the service, quality and programming is appalling. TV is heading for a crisis and the BBC is leading the industry by the nose into disaster. The funding system for the BBC means they have an unfair advantage over private broadcasters yet the customer has no choice about paying for the service and certainly has no say in the quality of programming.
My biggest gripes (apart from funding) are celebrity tripe, reality dirge, product placement (beyond a joke now) and absolutely no quality drama (please do not mention Dr Who or I will scream!)

  • 29.
  • At 03:46 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mike Davies wrote:

I don't agree with the comments on Coast/Building Britain/Mountains, etc as this along with BB2 Comeday such as Hyperdrive, is all I now watch. If it wasn't for BBC2 I'd kick my set and licence into touch. The rest of the schedules seem to be z list celebs doing something they oughn't, my heart sinks when I hear "Get me out of here I used to be what I though was a celeb but no one else has heard of me" is back. Celeb's learning to dance, cook, skate and pluck chickens has really had its day. It may be cheap tv but only a brick through the screen seems to get the message through. How about a final series of "I'm a celeb, etc" with bloody Ant and Dec getting eaten by crocodiles while a nation mourns (if you're a northerner) or cheers (if you come from anywhere but Newcastle).

  • 30.
  • At 03:47 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mohammed Imran wrote:

The worst thing about TV...

* The shoddy journalism of late.
Lies, Deciept, Slander, False Assumptions and plain crap

* Reality TV
Really they are totally faking it for the cameras so not really reality

* Advertisements
Getting more disgusting by the day. Seems like anything and everything goes now a days.

  • 31.
  • At 03:47 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

It would be nice to some actual news content within the news.

Less gimmicks, less coffee morning style chats between presenters, less standing in the studio, less standing outside buildings just because you can, less barely trained reporters commenting on issues they have no knowledge of, less trying to respond to 'just in pictures' from the helicopter.

That would free up more room for authoritive reports from the likes of Jeremy Bowen, Frank Gardner and John Simpson about things which actually matter.

More chances to see shows like Newsnight on the actual telly and not as a podcast - with a 24 hour news operation which desperately struggles to fill a day - hence the nonsense listed in my first paragraph - why can't shows like Newsnight get a prime time airing the following night?

There's no point being the world's largest news organisation if you set yourselves the unchallenging remit competing with Five.

  • 32.
  • At 03:52 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • John H wrote:

Comments about our TV companies & presenters? I could write a book about this topic...and it would be a very easy thing to do.
It would be nice to watch/hear the news without the over-dramatisation of the news presenters. Why oh why can`t they just report the news without the need for their ridiculous over-dramatic posturing.
And they need to remember - this is for the ladies - it is a news programme, not a fashion/glamour show!
And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, stop giving us updates of the news every half-hour. We do not need it and don`t want it. That is what the News Channel is for! It is bad enough having breaks for advertising in the middle of a good documentary/film, without the unwanted repeat news updates.
Weekend TV is a joke in this country - sport apart - why don`t we see variety shows anymore?
And all these celebrities shows...why all these useless reality shows.
And now on TV during the night/morning they have introduced ridiculous phone-in prizeshows...They Are Not Wanted!
During a good programme/film why do the TV broadcasters think it is clever to inform us what is coming next `all over the top of the screen` why? That`s why I purchase a TV magazine!!!
Bring back the good old TV days, when news was told and not dramatised and we did not have any pointless celeb & reality shows with past their sell-by-date actors and boring wannabe hopefulls.
I`m so thankful for Radio....
TV is dead in this country.

  • 33.
  • At 03:52 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

I have lost count of how many times I have complained to our commercial TV Channels about the SERIOUS problem of Excessive Audio Volume during adverts.

They continually offer unacceptable excuses while doing nothing about the problem.

I even noticed recently that some Consumer Electronics Manufacturers have responded to the VAST number of viewer complaints, by offering "AVL" (Automatic Volume Level Control) on their products, that compresses the excessive volume of the adverts to the same average level of actual programmes.

If broadcasters LISTENED to viewer complaints, there wouldn't be any need for an "end user solution."

  • 34.
  • At 03:54 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Although the faked footage and phoney phone-ins seem to the have the media in a spin, I'm far more concerned at the levels of indecency, violence and anti-social imagery that is now being openly braodcast prior to the watershed. Take a recent episode of Casualty (a programme that has 7 million + viewers) and the scenes where a junior doctor was seen inhaling cocaine and heroin. Five years ago this would have been edited as it is viewed by pre-teenage children. However, this and many other programmes of its ilk including soaps show this type of behaviour. I don't want some liberally minded individual to defend this as it is indefensible.

  • 35.
  • At 03:55 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Rikki wrote:

TV has got to stop trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator - that includes both entertainment, factual and news programmes. We aren't all idiots, and when idiots are the only people catered for, brain rot sets in in everyone.

That's not to say these programmes can't have broad appeal. A programme can be sophisticated yet still mainstream - Tomorrow's World being an example (by the way, bring that back!). The old-style Panorama is another example.

What irks me more than anything is the continual relaxation of the news presentation. Stop all this silly 'trying to engage viewers' rubbish and just give us the news, sitting down and behind a desk. In my eyes, informal presentation sends the message that the news isn't important or to be taken seriously. There's other outlets for the 'lowest common denominator' to get news, it's unnecessary to relax every news broadcast to appeal to that.

For me, the issue with the phone-ins wasn't about trust, but rather a very good indication about how many programmes these days rely on cheap gimmicks and faux competitions.

Get back to producing high-quality, insightful, thought-provoking, entertaining, worthwhile television. Leave everything else to the other Freeview/Sky channels that cater to niches.

Everything I've talked about applies to Channel 4 as well as the BBC. I daren't start on my criticisms of ITV or I'll never finish.

  • 36.
  • At 03:56 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Geddy Lee wrote:

In terms of the way it's currently commissioned, TV appears to have run out of decent ideas a while ago. Money is leaving the industry and the output is increasingly impoverished - you probably wouldn't want to work for any TV producers outside the BBC if you want job security and a half decent salary. As soon as the tv in the corner of my living room is hooked up to a ultra high bandwidth internet connection, then regular channels will be irrelevant. BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4 etc will just become branded content providers. I'll either download the latest episode of whatever hit show in seconds from a server owned by its production company or if I don't fancy paying for it i'll nick it via a peer to peer network. I'll construct my own channels via RSS feeds taking in user-specified content as it appears online and store it on my hard driver recorder. And instead of having to sit through BBC3/Channel 4's latest unfunny comedy series, I'll watch the genuinely funny amateur comedy/mash-up's being posted everyday on Youtube. Maybe instead of sitting through boring breakfast TV, I'll be able to watch unregulated, no holds barred live programmes put out by d-i-y producers using ever-cheaper equipment in their front rooms. Why endure GMTV when I can watch nude mud-wrestling sweary anarchists from Solihull playing my favourite heavy metal videos and obscenely satirical flash-animations instead?

  • 37.
  • At 04:01 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Robin Gill wrote:

I live in Poland and watch Newsnight online. Although there are things that irritate me about UK TV when I have the opportunity to watch it, I have to say that in comparison with other countries, and of course I have to mention Polish TV, both state-owned and commercial, in particular, the variety and presentation of UK television is lightyears ahead.

That's not to say that everything's perfect - of course it isn't. However, from the comments above one might think that British television is dreadful. It's not.

  • 38.
  • At 04:04 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Fabia wrote:

My complaint is about TV in the United States:

1-The news are pitiful, a true alienation of what is happening outside the immediate neighborhood. An exaggeration of little national incidents or accidents. News anchors joke and play around as if it were an entertainment show rather than informative news. More time is spent on an article about 'a guy who was shooting arrows from his window and hit the neighbor's apartment' than on massive natural disasters in Southeast Asia, for instance.

2-Commercials are so poor in every sense that it makes one want to bring publicity professionals from abroad in order to teach some creativity, art – or just plain taste – to publicity companies that produce what is shown in the US. They literally make you want to turn off the TV and just listen to music instead.

  • 39.
  • At 04:04 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • BenMcCrory wrote:

Why am I "not allowed to comment"?

  • 40.
  • At 04:06 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

When will tv companies drop the reality/talent tv shows that seem to suffocate the schedules?, singing, dancing, ice skating, acting etc etc you name it and theres a talent/reality show made for it. Why can't we have tv thats cutting edge, that pushes the boudaries and makes you sit up and think? Channel 4 used to be up there with the best of them when it came to quality programmes but now its all shock tactics, american imports or reality tv. Its time tv went back to basics.

  • 41.
  • At 04:06 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Broadcast signals need to be greatly improved immediately for digital television use.

  • 42.
  • At 04:08 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Anthony wrote:

I would like to complain about the T.V. licence...state sponsored robbery...tantamount to communism...a poll tax on telly...reds under the bed...staffed by Marxists...supporting Gordon Brown's New Labour government...nothing better to do...getting old...bring back Thatcher.

1) Too much free advertising on News programmes - constant talking about football clubs, teams etc when they are not germaine to the subject; trailing other BBC programmes by interviewing the presenters. ITV do this too, I believe but I seldom look.

2) Too few quality US imports. The BBC seem to have yielded this field to SKY. OK you got Heroes (yawn), and you funded ROME (yay!) but where's the other exciting stuff - Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Las Vegas, Carnivale?

3) Not enough openness about how much the BBC squanders bidding for "big" sporting events. There is an almost complete lack of accoutnability here

  • 44.
  • At 04:12 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Dennis Smith wrote:

I have lived in New York with my American wife for the last 50 years.
Our tv viewing is restricted, for the most part, to BBC programmimg. While it has deteriorated over the years (becoming more America oriented) it is still superior to American programming.


  • 45.
  • At 04:14 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Kay Sutherland wrote:

As far as I'm concerned BBC1, BBC3 & ITV (apart from Coronation Street-a guilty pleasure!) could go off the air tommorrow & I wouldn't miss them!

I used to be an avid viewer of the BBC1 6o'clock news but it has been so 'dummed down'-especially when Natasha Kaplinsky has anything to do with it-that I now wait for Channel 4 News at 7pm & my favourite programme on TV-Newsnight!Or,listen to the excellent Radio 4 -especially the 'Today' programme!

The same 'dumbing down' has happened with Panorama which now only lasts 30 mins-not nearly enough time to have an 'in-depth' look at the subject being discussed that I have stopped watching that as well!

The BBC especially should have far more serious documentaries & news programmes instead of churning out 'rubbish' to please the masses!

  • 46.
  • At 04:20 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Anyone remember some of the fantastic kids tv from the early 90's?? It'll never work was entertaining and informative, how2 less so (still carol vordeman was there for parental interest) and a bunch of game shows that were more about making fun of yourself, getting filthy and having a laugh, instead of the selfish purile stuff now. and the series are plain awful!! programmers need to look at making programmes that are entertaining and informative for children as opposed to the soporific mindless stuff at the moment. bring back ed the duck!!!

  • 47.
  • At 04:24 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jen Reynolds wrote:

I am one of perhaps 8 million deaf/hard of hearing persons in the UK.
It drives me mad while watching a programme particularly the News that suddenly the sub-titles freeze and do not continue.

Maybe 5 minutes later they resume still continuing on the area where they stopped.
Perhaps worst of all is a programme with no sub-titles.
Please can you not match the words with the pictures.?

  • 48.
  • At 04:26 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • BenMcCrory wrote:

I agree with the above poster who dislikes jolly music being played over the round-up of headlines, as if news is mere entertainment - the news is often grim or distressing, and music just cheapens it. I also would like to see far fewer trails, and for end credits to run uninterrupted by desperate attempts to stop us changing channels.
Finally, I wish the BBC would try to emulate the best of US tv and produce something of the quality of The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Dexter, The Closer, etc, rather than production-line pap such as EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Robin Hood and so forth. Where are the landmark drama series?

Personal loathing: "News" that isn't - celebrity watching isn't news, sport isn't news, stories about sports celebrities aren't news, stories about sports celebrities' wives aren't news, stories about the ex-partners of sports celebrities' wives aren't news. If you want a program of gossip, call it the Nigel Dempster Memorial Hour - not the news. If you want sports results, then there is always Five Live. Keep all of this crap out of news programs. As for anything about Diana - can we have a ghetto for the conspiracy channel, encrypt it and let the loonies pay through the nose for the self perpetuating drivel?

  • 50.
  • At 04:32 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Martin Harvey wrote:

In the world of Star Trek, TV was said to have died out circa 2040. When I first read this piece of future history around ten years ago, I thought it unrealistic. Now I'm wondering if the medium will last till 2020.

Things have definitely gone downhill in the past decade, and the BBC seem to be no exception.

  • 51.
  • At 04:37 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Kelly Ryan wrote:

For the last 2 years I have not watched television at home. I do not have a properly functioning aerial and I certainly don't want to pay the license fee for something that is fuzzy and ultimately soul destroying when in comes to content.

I no longer come home and sit in front of it waiting for it to entertain me, I choose my entertainment and education materials a lot more carefully and I am not a slave to it. I will admit that friends and family make me aware of some shows I would like to watch (my current love affair being with Heroes) but then we make a social occassion out of the viewing (basically I go over there to watch it - is that legal?!).

For me, television has lost it's appeal. My life is richer and more fulfilled without it permanently in my life and I don't think that anything could be done to change my opinion.

Oh and by the way, I'm 24. Not 84.

  • 52.
  • At 04:42 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Seurat wrote:

There are too many copycat programmes. If one channel has a "hit" all the others follow with a watered-down version. None is immune, you just have to watch daytime BBC (if you can bring yourself) to see one done-to-death vehicle after another

Also, stop letting your favourite independents sell you the same programme over and over again merely with different titles (step forward Lorne Spicer).

Aiming your programmes at a yoof audience is just alienating the people who actually DO watch your programmes.

Provide some actual evidence that viewers want all your innovations in background music, flashy graphics, non-stop trailers, credit squeezing etc

An enthusiastic, knowledgable and professional presenter is always better than the latest flavour of the month celebrity/news presenter bumbling along.

  • 53.
  • At 04:43 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • James wrote:

Shopping channels and +1 channels really are about as low as you can get, for me anyway.
Combined with the general dumbing down of the content on the BBC as well. As an example Horizon used to be a good science show, now its 45 minutes long with a full recap every 10 minutes or so, because somewhere in the world where its exported has had an ad break and where ever it is these people seem to have no attention span.

  • 54.
  • At 04:43 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Ranjan Khastgir wrote:

BBC World is the Best TV Channel in the English Language. They are factual, unbiased, current and to the point. Tim Sebastian's Hard Talk is the best programme that you can ever expect to see on TV and his incisive questioning and superb handling of the hard headed personalities he interviews in this programme, to say the very least, is not only superb, but fantastic.

Amongst Indian channels in English, Prannoy Roy's NDTV is by far the best, closely followed by TIMES NOW, promoted by Reuters and the Times of India Group. NDTV's anchor person, Ms Brakha Dutt is not only brilliant but fascinating in the manner she handles a wide range of topics with eloquence and style. NDTV's Hindi Channel NDTV India has news reader Nidhi Kulapati, who is charming, gracious and fascinating.

TV has changed our lives and the programmes are getting better by the day. Let us wish them all the very best in the years and decades to come. Only some of the silly commercials need to be axed.

  • 55.
  • At 04:49 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • malcolm goulding wrote:

Things wrong with tv today

1. Bring back the single play, a modern day 'Play for Today' but without any hype.

2.Far too much American programming, particularly films, we need a drastic cutback in broadcasting films which have alrady been on Sky. The BBC needs to be bold buying European films old and new and giving the viewer real choice (channel four take note too) As a forty five year old i remember when 2 or 3 foreign language fims were shown in one week now they are non-existant on mainstream television.

3. For commercial television ditch the 4 or 5 ad breaks an hour it totally destroys the programmes.

4. Start tv again at 10 or 11 am, as the current dross that is daytime tv is a complete waste of time and money...Be Bold

  • 56.
  • At 04:55 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mariana Fassnidge wrote:

Television's international signals are viewed all over the world, therefore, competition for quality should be the first priority, as they are shown side by side with television signals in different languages, from South America, North America, Europe and even China. The way news are shown, the cultural programmes, documentaries, innovative ideas, human stories, world coverage of interesting issues are primordial together with high quality transmission technologies. Not understanding this globalization of information through a television channel means that the viewers - us - just change to the next channel available where we can find what we are looking for. So, tv should always work with this global competition for quality and fairness in mind. Believe or not, we are connected and issues that interest people are, more or less, the same for everyone around the world, no matter where we live. TV in Britain should also work to satisfy a much broader worldwide audience.

  • 57.
  • At 04:57 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jason Milton wrote:

The problem is, if you are a tv exec, do you commission a programme that involves a celeb learning to play an instrument/talk a foreign language/cook/swim/walk/breathe etc or an intelligent drama that costs 10x the price because it involves actors/scripts etc?

I rarely watch tv anymore, tending to buy dvds of decent programmes instead i.e House, My name is Earl, Life on Mars and Heroes.

There is some excellent stuff out there, you just have to wade through the dross to find it (and did you notice that 3 of the 4 programmes mentioned above are imports?)

  • 58.
  • At 04:58 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Ralph wrote:

TV is absolute rubbish in the main, the intelligent minority are virtually not catered for at all. If you spot a programme which sounds interesting, when you come to watch it the subject has been completely trivialised so as to make it into 'entertainment'. Every programme has the same format and I wonder whether this is at least part due to everyone in the TV scene having taken a media studies course at somewhere like The University of Steeple Bumpstead! There has to be a constant stream of pointless irrelavnt footage being shown, hardly ever is there a person talking to you and when there is that person has to be walking. Everything has to be presented with an example, 'take Mrs so and so and her family....etc. As if we are nit wits. Everything is presented in the same way as if the media course they've been on has taught them the 'right' way. Is there no talent amongst people working in TV, is there no originality?

  • 59.
  • At 05:02 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Ken Case wrote:

I'm very much dissatisfied with the superficiality of TV 'news', in which The Perils of Paris Hilton lead the pack, with so little true investigative journalism that I generally rely much more upon English language broadcasts from around the world on shortwave, or alternative radio, blogs and print news. TV is fine for those whose IQ barely rivals their hat size, one of which I am not.

Re:BBC radio
I'm 67 years old, and remember when BBC was the absolute gold standard in news, interviews and variety programming. I don't even bother with it anymore.


(to other commenters) let's face it, TV isn't actually going to change for the better. All of the problems listed above, particularly to do with the news, have just gotten worse and worse over time. I don't believe anyone in telly is actually listening to what the kind of people who comment on the Editors blog actually want.

And that's sad. BBC News has always been a bit rubbish when it comes to sci/tech news, but now the presentation has slipped, with presenters standing uncomfortably-too-close-together for no reason, gee-whiz graphics and the obligatory outside broadcasts and helo shots. People have clearly been paid good money to revamp the news, and it's license-payers' money wasted. I don't mind the edgy urban soundtrack to the headlines, I think it's quite iconic now, but the rest of the news is pretty awful.


Moving away from the news, the primetime shows on the BBC are also not really very good. There's the occasional gem (and boy do you know when the BBC has found it!!), but the BBC needs to be sat en masse in front of the cream of HBO: Entourage, The Wire, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Nip Tuck, etc. It is surely not beyond the ken of what is supposed to be the best broadcaster in the world to put out a couple of really awesome drama series. But what we get is "Rome", which is okay (co-produced with HBO, I notice), and then flagship shows like Doctor Who that are dire. Bad acting, poor sets, bad CGI, and most of all poor plotting and scripting.

... and that's not even mentioning those awful 6.30pm BBC2 shows that last half an hour but have reminders of what's been happening every ten minutes. I know that the commercial channels do this after breaks, but that's really annoying too! Stop copying them!

I want more long shows. There was a good documentary on BBC2 about Wainwright, the author of those Lakeland books. It lasted an hour, really went into depth on every bit of his life, and I came out feeling that I'd really learned something. There's too much rubbish and not enough of the good stuff.

Finally, the BBC should let the big sporting events go. Never mind that Match of the Day on the Beeb is better than when it was on ITV, the price paid for the TV rights is simply unfair on all of the other programs that (it seems) have to scrape by on a shoestring, unsurprisingly turning out one dreadful show after another, because they are cheap.

  • 61.
  • At 05:12 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • rob maynard wrote:

A current topic that i feel the t.v. industry plays a massive contribution towards is the issue of black role models. The industry can make a positive contribution by portraying characters of black and minority ethnicity proportionately to the amount of tv hours available ie not just on music and sport tv. Black role models could be 'created' to counter the negative impact that 'gun-toting popstars' are given. I feel that the industry cannot continue to blame the affected troubled teens that subsequently adopt these 'rap' artists as their idols when the tv industry has promoted them in the first place. It may be deemed as censorship but replacing the screen-time offered to 'negative role-models' by time given to positive role models is the least the industry could offer. The industry has,in-part, been responsible for the failed attempts at creating some balance of cultural diversity on tv and should begin to try to make amends. Failure to do so ignores the cost paid in un-necessary black and white peoples deaths.

  • 62.
  • At 05:13 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Matthew Morrow wrote:

The scandals of the past few months regarding trust in TV have really been sensationalised; rather like a Channel 4 newsreader's tie they are shocking but not entirely unexpected.
Mistakes have been made and on the whole no harm has been done (except to a few reputations). If I had been told that my licence fee was being fed into a Columbian cocaine franchise or used to ship guns to war ravaged regions of the world then I would have been shocked. Get over it, tighten up procedures, stop wearing garish neckwear and continue to produce the best TV in the world.

  • 63.
  • At 05:23 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Steve Gittings wrote:

We watch less TV than we used to. We look at the TV magazine, see what programmes are on, sigh and watch a video instead.

We need decent, well scripted drama (Life on Mars), interesting documentary (Sanjeev Bashkar on India) and I like sport. I also like cooking programmes so long as Antony Worral Thompson or James Martin are not presenting them.

Trouble is, you have to make decisions based on viewing figures and the type of programmes I want may not be winning the ratings war. It's nice that you are asking our opinion, but will anything change as a result? All the blogs I've read say much the same as I have.

  • 64.
  • At 05:29 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Stanley Page wrote:

Two things really, first regarding the Phone-In problems with false winners, just a simple question, Why did it happen? Were the producers under pressure, could they not just admit that there was a problem.

Second, and I suppose it's an old one, but why is there so much reality TV, and some of it is just so very bad, lacking imagination and unwatchable.

  • 65.
  • At 05:41 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Logan Ennion wrote:

I agree with several previous commenters that having reporters standing outside a darkened ministry building for no other reason than that that minister said something ten hours earlier is absurd. It's nearly as bad as shooting special footage of the interviewer nodding solemnly in every single two-way interview - we really, really don't care!

The Ten O'Clock News, although a good programme overall, suffers from three main faults (apart from the ones mentioned above). Firstly, the five-minute overlap with Newsnight is utterly stupid, as is always shown when the news trails a Newsnight interview. Why on earth can't Newsnight be at 10.35? Secondly, we really don't need to come back after the regional news in case we're so stupid we can't remember what we were told ten minutes previously.

And thirdly... the weather forecast. Quite apart from the awful graphics, which one day the BBC may stop pretending work, it's a feeble effort compared to many American broadcasts: we *do* need to know about isobars and jet streams on a regular basis. If the babyish "weather story" view has to continue, then could we at least have one proper, five-minute, forecast a night on BBC2 or BBC4?

  • 66.
  • At 05:44 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Michael Fowler wrote:

I have only one comment to make - the problem with British TV isn't not enough good programmes, it's that there are far too many channels to fill. Less channels, better programmes.

  • 67.
  • At 05:46 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

All TV IS fake - by which I mean it's a manufactured, edited, crafted creation that exists because someone HAS AN AGENDA to push.

You'd think nobody had realised this until this year.

What's changed is increasingly the agenda is scraping back money from ridiculously complex production deals that involve nobody actually owning the programmes - and therefore not being able to control what goes on making them.

I'm reminded of the possibly romantasised tale of Monty Python - who were told that the BBC commissioner didn't think anyone would watch - so he would only give them six episodes to start with.

Can you imagine that happening in today's BBC?

  • 68.
  • At 05:56 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mark Muirhead wrote:

Several things really get my goat:

1) TV aimed at viewers (of all ages) who left school at 16. I'm not saying that everything has to be mentally challenging all the time, but I'd like an alternative to endless talk/chat shows a la Loose Women, Richard & Judy, Antony Cotton, Jeremy Kyle, Trisha... etc etc, house shows (buying/selling/doing up), antique/junk shows, and magazine shows (This Morning, The One Show)

2) Richard & Judy. How on earth can C4 justify paying this pair ANYTHING? Judy cannot get out one sentence without tripping over her words, getting information wrong, or just generally getting flustered. Richard, on the other hand, won't shut up long enough to listen to what their victims are there to talk about. He loves answering his own questions, or just generally talking about himself ad nauseam.

3) I remember a while ago the BBC promised to stop being derivative. So why do we have EastEnders 4 nights a week, Casualty, it's spin-off Holby City, and it's spin off Holby Blue. Surely this alone is a perfect example of being derivative.

4) Adverts for price comparison websites

5) Adverts designed to consolidate my debt

6) TV chefs who refuse to look directly at the camera, preferring to "inform" some unseen person to the side who knows everything anyway.

7) ITV. Lowest common denominator TV.

8) The words "literally", "basically", and "actually" used to punctuate sentences.

9) Undereducated presenters who can't speak in grammatical English.

10) Reality TV - no surprise there.

11) Recycling talentless "celebrities" on various TV shows - why do we have Myleene Klass presenting TV? She was in a pop group whose CDs people didn't buy, released her own classical CD that people didn't buy, yet the BBC presumes we want to see her. Why?

12) Paul Ross.

13) The "100 Greatest..." shows,

14) The BBC's news output. It's now no longer possibly to dumb it down any more. Flashy graphics aren't necessary, and the news presenters' banter is inappropriate. Also, why do we need more than one presenter?

15) "Get the details from our website." Please just tell me.

  • 69.
  • At 06:01 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • maz wrote:


It was a refreshing change to see "War on democacy" on Itv1 yesterday even though it was after 11pm. It showed former American CIA agents and interviewed many people directly affected by American policies. Where one former agent said something along the lines of "democracy means NOTHING if it is not in line with the American way of thinking".

More critical programming from the producers would be most welcoming especially since "free press" is heralded as one of cornerstones of a "free" society.

  • 70.
  • At 06:03 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Grill wrote:

The BBC's already lost the young generation - they prefer to download all their media - and though the Beeb's commercial arm is getting closer with its deal with the Bitorrent firm Azureus, it's sad to see the main corporation not following. Why doesn't the beeb simply put everything for free online? I'm sure it wouldn't undermine the sales of their DVDs that much, as the two markets are fairly distinct, and it might even boost them the way iTunes sales and internet radio has boosted the sales for CD sales. At the moment, the BBC has a reputation as a well-meaning but dusty organisation that's technologically crippled and confused about it's purpose, as well as being overwhelmed by bureaucracy. It must move online and use free content to drive people to its commercial wing, not cripple its public service side for the benefit of the commercial side.

  • 71.
  • At 06:04 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Katie wrote:

As someone who's previously worked in the TV industry, and am now working outside it, I have some sympathy with the broadcasters and tv companies - I know that it's never as simple as it seems, and that sometimes the right systems just simply aren't in place to catch these things.

However, what I find quite incredible is that, after Mark Thompson asked for any issues or concerns in this area to come to light - after the Blue Peter episode, no-one mentioned the Children in Need and Sport Relief ones until much later on. Why the huge gap? It makes it all so much worse and looks like deliberate deception.

Come on guys, in order for you to get your houses in order, get it all out in the open NOW and please be transparent with us about exactly what steps you've taken and are taking to ensure that it doesn't happen again. There also needs to be real accountability - not just a couple of junior researchers suspended for a week, but those at the top having it built into their job descriptions so that they are audited yearly, and can be sacked if they don't keep proper tabs on their staff and programmes.

This level of accountability is surely only the beginning, but will at least prove that the BBC is taking the matter seriously and not paying lip service to it, as it so often does - hoping it'll go away in time.

  • 72.
  • At 06:05 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • L Joseet wrote:

The time honoured Greenwich Time Signal (the "6 pips")once told the world "This is London" and the authority and integrity that went with it. Now this has been hi-jacked by the News Channels and similar "pips" seem to go on endlessly like a kitchen timer. Back to basics, please.

  • 73.
  • At 06:15 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • gregor aitken wrote:

You sound almost like a masochist in your plea for honesty but here goes.

Television is in a very bad state and the bbc a worse one.

I speak from a degree of knowledge as i work in the technical side of television and I am shocked and discgusted as i see how it runs from the inside.

I would like to start by saying i could care less about fake phone ins, or dodgy prize winners, for me game shows and such are just that, and i feel for anyone who genuinley thought that the tv execs were running fair and open competition.

the things that for me are most shocking is the people behind the scenes. i have met journalists who have more concerned with the spice girls than the jersey girls, tv producers who meet to get stories and drama out of every last piece of film and editors who care only for finding a story and not the truth.
I have seen budgets on programmes trimmed by producers in order to go overseas for the wrap party.
I have listened as producers and researches tried to work out how to edit undercover footage to make their target seem like he was a conman after being let down by his honesty. Since i started in this industry nearly 10 years ago i can't remember once thinking now there is someone being honest and true. It never happens.

The Industry is mainly staffed by very nice public school boys akin to those who chased futures in politics, possibly from less expensive schools. These boys do very well and always appear in top jobs, the next tier of the industry to me seems to be made up of pretty girls, trendy guys, and folks who will do anything to get ahead. The rest of us i think exist in a slight state of shock.

From this insiders point of view most of the people in Television land exist in an entirely different planet to the rest of us.

The concerns at newsrooms is not as you would imagine, i always thought these were people fighting to tell the truth, providing a constant vigil over the govt and the machinations of state. things couldnt be further from from truth. Most newsrooms are more concerned with where they can 'go live' to, how they look in comparison to the opposition, and following the all important daily agenda. ( which is maily set by redtop papers it seems)

Televisions only real purpose for me is its use as a tool of our democracy and sadly it isnt even that.

Television is a billboard that will change its face for the highest bidder and it is all for sale. Its outdated and it represents a very old perspective of the world, To live in the world of television people is like living with the british who returned from the colonies long after britian stopped being great. They just don't quite get it.

Can i also say i love the irony that your asking us what we think is wrong with Television so you can go on the annual all expenses paid trip to the festival in edinburgh so you and all the other editors and controlers can collectivly navel gaze, which is much better than doing it in your office in London i Suppose and whole load better than actually addressing your role as the 4th Estate.

Enjoy your holiday

  • 74.
  • At 06:18 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Mennell wrote:

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think there's far too much sport on television.

My greatest problem is with those so-called continuity announcers ruining all programmes with vacuous invitations to watch celebrity golf or something afterwards and so on. People already know what's on next, hadn't you realised? A couple of years ago the BBC asked viewers what they didn't like and continuity announcers came out top by a mile (followed by on-screen channel "idents" - what happened, they are 10 times worse now. Listen to people more please.

Also, if everyone allegedly has a book inside them waiting to burst forth, why not read more new writers' work? More quality drama please.

The last of the great TV programme makers is Jonathan Meades, please ask him how he thinks that television quality can be improved.

  • 75.
  • At 06:28 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Thomas wrote:

"[Sensationalist, devisive, offensive comment], that's the conclusion of..."

Please just read the news, your viewers aren't idiots.

  • 76.
  • At 06:30 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Mark Kenny wrote:

I'm fed up of BBC, (I don't watch Sky and as I live abroad I don't understand any other TV) "correspondents" and "our man on the ground". I want my news to be the facts, not opinion, and I want as little insight as possible. Don't tell me what you think is going on, tell me the facts and if you have to resort, make very distinct what is opinion.

Opinion can valuable, but if it's only opinion and no news then it becomes quite boring and I lose trust in the voices when they are reporting news.

It's like Peter and the Wolf, don't tell me stories and expect me to believe everything.

The BBC should be the pinnacle of truthfulness and reporting integrity, a service to the people, not a spin machine. It's a example to the world for what good broadcasting should be, and should strive to maintain this with every report.

  • 77.
  • At 06:36 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • John Fortune wrote:

To make TV genuinely popular you need "quality". In both image and content.Dumbing down endlessly with rubbish sitcoms , quiz shows and repeats is tantamount to cheap rubbish.And it shows. Result, no one watches.

  • 78.
  • At 06:53 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Matthew Nicholls wrote:

I agree with many people here: I like BBC Radio but feel short-changed and ignored by TV programming that seems increasingly to view ratings as the only measure of worth. I haven't had a TV for a few years now and though tempted to get one for my new house probably won't: there's too much celebrity-driven lackwit pabulum filling the schedules and, with a few glowing exceptions, much of what factual programming is left is dumbed down and bite-sized. As Lucy says, there's no need to over-dramatise subjects or import unqualified celebrities to present them.
Constant concern for 'accessibility' creates resolutely low- and middle-brow programmes.I do wish the BBC would set an example and understand that sometimes a serious, weighty programme that fewer people really get something from is worth more than a lightweight ratings chaser. The commercial channels have their own imperatives but the BBC doesn't have to follow them: it's uniquely funded and should make unique content.
Other niggles: too much self-advertisment, too much music and flashy graphics in the news, increasingly sloppy English in news programmes and the website (regionalism is fine, but not at the expense of correctness), over-payment of some of the aforesaid celebrity presenters.
But for all that the dear old BBC is still, just about, the best there is. I hope it stays that way.

"Be as rude as you like, but no obscenities please or we won't be able to put your comment up."

No problem. I'll just pop down and catch some on my kids' TV shows:)

Meanwhile, back to answering the question, though some posters have already served up some beauts... which will be consummately ignored....

So here's one. Stop asking for opinions and then not paying a blind bit of notice to them. Stop taking serious, considered critiques and showing them only the contempt a dawn slot on Newswatch - with a sniffy producer/editor who could care less as he/she knows they are immune from consequence - can deliver.

And while everything in life needs a measure, can the BBC at least stop using the acquisition of ratings as the way in which 'executives' are rewarded? That way they might just try and actually serve the people and deliver quality programming as opposed to just trying to climb the corporate ladder as high as they can before bailing to land a nice cushy number elsewhere (or, better yet, promoted up or sideways internally after a cock-up).

Try reporting the news rather than making it (up).

Share with us the truth. We can handle it. It doesn't need to be 'enhanced'. Editing should be to make a story as clear as possible; not steer an agenda.

Finally, please remember that while it is the people who help make the brand, the brand makes the person. So stop being so damn lazy as to claim some individuals are not replaceable and hence lead to the obscene levels of pay that celebrity can create.

The exposure of the BBC is a gateway to riches enough already without using the licence fee to boost the salaries even more. I want my money used responsibly and accountably, with due humility and gratitude to the awesome privilege and career opportunity it represents to be in such a job.

Treat those who are forced to pay to watch as clientele to respect, inform and entertain, not some cash cow to support a nifty, gold-plated, privileged exclusive club lifestyle.


Find a better, more helpful and less arrogant way to help me post than getting this waaaaay too often:

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  • 80.
  • At 07:23 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Stephen Goldstone wrote:

My biggest irritation is the dumming down of the English language, as spoken by newsreaders on radio and television. The standards of grammar, pronunciation and general sloppiness have fallen to an all-time low and I really worry for the future in this country. Just compare with TV footage of the 1960's, the so-called era of decadence, and you will find today's standards so low that I am truly ashamed. TV reporters from the Indian subcontinent appear to be the best spoken !

  • 81.
  • At 07:25 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Diane Madge Rae wrote:

I always used to trust in the BBC for news and everything else but not any more.
I would also like to say that presenters nowadays seem to think that the public are morons and being told the same thing over and over really irritates me together with the fact that questions are really stupid i.e When someone has lost a relative
they ask things like ''how do you feel about this'

  • 82.
  • At 07:40 PM on 21 Aug 2007,







  • 83.
  • At 07:43 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

If you had told me 20/30 years ago how little television I would watch in my 40s, I wouldn't have believed you, but I honestly can't remember the last time I turned it on.

To improve things, how about reverting to a single channel (OK, two perhaps), with no adverts, and with the licence fee at its current level. Setting them to only run in the evenings and filling the time with drama (not "high brow", but "good"). Not sport. Not celebrities. Not people wanting to be celebrities. Not people who will never be celebrities. Oh, and absolutely not reporters standing behind large, flashing "Breaking News" banners while saying absolutely nothing of any import...

  • 84.
  • At 07:51 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • john quick wrote:

The benefit of decreasing standards and repeats is that I, and quite a few people that I know, don't switch on the T.V unless there is something worth watching,the default for our house is now T.V. off not on.


At 70, it seems to me, that TV policy is in the hands of young minds who are all about the “artistic” presentation of everything; from the latest WAG gossip, to a war report. TV is overwhelmed by Runaway Art – “RA RA”. Nothing is now simple and straightforward; from the “pinky and perky” dual presentation, turn-taking presenters, to negative image, mundane library footage to back a report on some radioactivity threat.
We are informed that the over fifties will soon outnumber the underclass. What is more, many of them have hearing damaged by pop music (whereas mine is just old) yet the tendency to jump all over verbal messages with background – even frontground – noise seems irresistible to the ra ra school of direction. When the ra ra lot were doing media studies, did anyone tell them that if a large slice of the audience can’t receive what you transmit, as broadcasters, your living has been somewhat in vain?

  • 86.
  • At 07:58 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • miika wrote:

Ummm, *what* "crisis"?

Half the population doesn't trust most TV to begin with, whether rightly or wrongly.

You have the people who claim x channel is biased towards x political party, and only trust y channel at any time, because it's "neutral" (read, biased towards y party).

You have the people who claim everything's a fix to begin with, usually because they never win anything - half the time they complain they never win anything even if they didn't enter to begin with.

You have the people who believe everything they see on TV just because it's in colour, and the people who never believe anything they see on TV, usually for the same kind of reason.

You have the people who claim they could do better, but never seem to have gotten around to actually taking any courses on broadcasting.

You get the people who want you to put things up the way they want you to, and the people who get upset when you don't.

Then the media, which has fallen on its sword so grandiosely, manages to turn the normal state of affairs of "trust" in the media into a "crisis".

It's not a crisis - it's business as usual. The only difference is you're busy making a story out of a non-starter story because it's a slow news year!

Anyone with a shred of common sense treats anything stated as "factual" on TV or in the media as unconfirmed until they go do their own research. The concept of "making your own mind up based on the evidence presented" has gone out of fashion.

If people are too lazy to actually go research things to make their own minds up, then I regret to inform them that they have no minds to speak of to begin with, and deserve to get fleeced by everything and anyone that comes around saying anything!

If there's a real crisis, it's the media outlets that are so full of themselves and their perceived power to "influence" their audience that they set themselves up as some sort of "moral guardians", freely destroying who they like in alleged pursuit of the "people's right to know" (read: the media's right to gossip and make profit out of it)

At the end of the day, all the media does is engage in gossip. The veracity might be slightly better than the gossip Mrs Grundy down the road comes up with, but it's still pretty much just gossip.

So, feel free to have a conference and agonize over the self-declared "crisis" you've decided is the juiciest gossip of the year. You might want to consider more important things though. Darfur springs to mind, monopolies - oh, and by the way, I'm reliably informed by multiple sources that there's these minor wars going on, with lots of people dying in them, over in the middle east.

I know that might pale compared to the idea of the "crisis" the media thinks it's facing, but not being in the media, I might be a little more interested in that kind of crisis than the ones you all want to feel sorry about yourselves as being in.

  • 87.
  • At 08:10 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

Can we please have more light entertainment shows and more comedy? In today's doomy gloomy world let's face it we all need a laugh. I don't mind if it's imported from abroad, original or classic, just give us more of it.

Can we also see a return of more spectacular looking entertainment shows? I know they're high cost, and therefore a risky investment in today's TV world, but maybe it's worth taking those risks again? I think half the problem is that so many new shows these days just seem to smack of having such little effort in them, which is a shame.

But if you are after low budget, high entertainment stuff, could somebody please relaunch Whose Line Is It Anyway? The new TV talent that has appeared on Mock The Week is surely proof that the improv talent is out there in the UK. Let them do their thing!

Last but not least - more Top Gear. Let them do it their way too. I don't care what budget they need, I don't care what their critics say it is the best thing on TV, bar none!

Thanks :)

  • 88.
  • At 08:23 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • A Lester wrote:

I generally only watch TV now for films...all the rest is for the most part complete rubbish. If i do watch TV itself, its usually something on BB2/4 or UKTV History on Freeview etc. The problem is the schedules are filled with repeats, reality shows or dire cooking/DIY/house shows not worthy of the airtime. These shows need to be cut asap.

On the issue of Freeview my reception for normal TV is fine but poor for Freeview...this needs to be improved (and no its not the aerial)

My biggest gripe is with 24 news channels. I would expect bias, sensationalisation, and dodgy agendas from Sky news...but the BBC? Its really got so bad its unwatchable. I get my news from the website and then still cross reference with several other sources to get a 'balanced' view. The problem is to fill 24hrs with what used to be adequately done in an hour you've resorted to many of the tactics mentioned in previous posts. To make it more interesting and to keep the viewers watching, you often blow issues out of all proportion. For example, every freak weather event is a signal of some impending disaster due to 'climate change' etc. No its not. In slow news days, you 'create' news by reporting on some report by some fringe think-tank and its speculation with even more speculation as if its fact. I watched a morning report not so long ago and all four of the leading reports were speculative. Very bad.

Further more, theres at least three people i never want to see on TV again. Chami 'i love criminals and terrorists' Chakrabati who appears to live at television centre, Paris 'all i've ever done is go to prison' Hilton, and Pete 'i should be in prison' Doherty. PLEASE!

If nothing else be bold enough to get rid of BBC News 24. You can then focus on some decent news output thats actually news and not endless tripe and speculation, whilst saving money on pointless helicopters etc for some decent drama/comedy. (By the way, some decent comedy instead of some of the truly appaling modern stuff). I'm 26.

  • 89.
  • At 08:34 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

I thought BBC3 was going to be original and innovative and then it seems to be repeats of the unfunny 2 packs of crisps and a pint of Lager when there is so much stuff that could have been repeated: Blackadder, Coupling, Fawlty towers, Hitchikers guide to the galaxy etc. I do like FTN channel. I get to watch really old quiz shows so its not all bad.

There is too much derivative telly. Hours and hours of property programmes, antique programmes, celeb based tv. Enough please.

  • 90.
  • At 08:48 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Nick Daniels wrote:

As a person with very impaired hearing, the near lack of subtitles on BBC after 22:00 make viewing impossible.

The subtitles on BBC News, have become near useless recently, and at times quite laughable.

  • 91.
  • At 08:50 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Is this going straight back to nulabour HQ. Why would you be interested in what we have to say you take your orders from this wonderfull labour goverment.

  • 92.
  • At 08:52 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Terri Robson wrote:

Broadcasters from Radio/TV and mainstream newspapers have been highjacked by a few elitists who are promoting their conservative agenda. Here in Canada and in the U.S. the general public is being bombarded with the most blatant of DUMBED DOWN PROGRAMS. A good example is the war in Iraq,the U.S. is pushing to "NUKE" Iran and any other mid-east country that does not agree with their policies.Once a war is waged in Iraq there will be no 2008 election as the Constitution dictates if national security is at stake then the current administration can be DICTATORS until they deem it safe.How about reporting on those types of news,and how the Trilateral Commission.Bildenberg Group are the elitists SHADOW GOVERNMENTS

  • 93.
  • At 08:57 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Alexandra wrote:

I am always amazed at how addicted everyone has become to TV and how it dominates so many people's lives. I hardly ever watch it and when I do I am almost always shocked at the content: violence, murder, bad language, deranged children's programmes and adverts adverts adverts. Good quality programmes appear to be the exception not the norm.

  • 94.
  • At 08:57 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Rachel Reed wrote:

This year I switched off TV broadcasting into my home and got rid of my TV licence.

This was the best decision I have made in a long time (well apart from being harrassed by TV licencing who treat me like a criminal even though I'm not).

I now realise how many hours of trash on TV I've watched, to the detriment of relationships and family. Saturday night TV was a waste of time. Too many talent contests, news programs that don't even touch on news you can access over the internet. Richard and Judy telling me what to though it were really them who picked the books.

The list is endless and I could go on and on. TV is trash. Radio rules! I'm glad I'm not a licence payer anymore you can waste other peoples money!

  • 95.
  • At 08:58 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Richard Wallis wrote:

Comments about the current state of television:

- Too much speculation in the news, just wait (we can) but more analysis afterwards.

- Too many locations and live reports. They add nothing and just take up time when you could be giving us the proper news.

- Not enough good sit coms.

- Far too many soaps.

- Funny camera shots in drama (we like a good story, well told).

- Don't particularly care who "wins" competitions, it is entertainment and that wasn't spoilt at the time.

  • 96.
  • At 09:08 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Richard Phillips wrote:

I live in the USA and would love to be able to watch BBC TV. I would gladly pay a full licence fee to view current BBC programming over the internet or satellite.

By comparison US television is truly awful. It is made almost exclusively for an 18 - 35 year old demographic and is well nigh impossible to watch through a bombardment of advertisements. You don't know how lucky you are in the UK.

BBC America is available here but it carries advertising and is a very poor selection of programmes chosen to appeal to the aforesaid US advertising fodder demographic.

  • 97.
  • At 09:13 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Keith Legg wrote:


Take risks, try challenging or different programming. Sometimes it won't work, but other times it will. Go with the freedom of your thoughts.


We know what TV channel we're watching - we switched the TV on, didn't we?


There is a life outside London - quite a bit, in fact. Take a look down the Royal Mile - there's a Parliament down the bottom, don't you know? Well, you wouldn't if you only watched London-based news. There's also one in Cardiff too - the only time you see that is when the building appears in "Doctor Who."


Make shows that appeal to us - not just the 16 - 24 year olds.


It passed it's sell-by date some time ago - come to think of it, it was after the first series.

  • 98.
  • At 09:15 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Terence McCarthy wrote:

Yes, in answer to your questions I do have something to say.

I now trust very little that is displayed as being "news" by the majority TV/radio channels, unless correlated across a number of different sources, many not of UK origin. Sadly, I now check the BBC stories more than the independent companies' news (less Fox, of course!).

I have ceased watching the now ridiculously poor programmes provided to a captive licence fee payer to the point at which I refused to pay this exorbitant tax any longer.

My daughter now pays, and the cost to her (per viewing at once or twice a week) is stupid, when averaged out over a year.

No doubt, you would all argue that employing someone reasonably literate to read the news does cost the better part of a million pound a year in Blair's and Brown's Britain, but those of us rather older than they could affect at school would do the job very well for a tenth of the price (well, for those of us not in London or it's immediate environs - a twentieth) and think ourselves well paid.

Until the BBC sacks the liberal/lefty cliche that run it, go back to their charter, and provides honest and robust arguments in its news and related programmes it will die.

There are those of us who hope it will- I rather would have it go back to where we -and the world- could respect it's integrity.

This doesn't even mention the BBC's kow-towing to a convicted monopolist over on-line programme streaming.

(Perhaps an astute reader may note a strong correlation between use of a non-M$ OS and my dislike of my funded public broadcaster only recognising M$)

  • 99.
  • At 09:40 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Bob Spender wrote:

First and most simple comment about todays television is why do I need to see a bunch of idiots in a Jungle or in a house 24 hours a day - I can simply walk down town and see that at kicking out time. Get rid of the reality shows!

Second comment is why do I pay lots of money to watch satellite / cable TV only to have to pay another fee to the BBC? Whilst I can appreciate that it helps develop quality shows ITV or Channel 4 seem to have no problems and what with the minor inconveniece of a few adverts I save several hundred pounds.

  • 100.
  • At 09:45 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Andy Stirups wrote:

Oh come of it. It really isn't "terrible" as you all put it. You are all wanting it to go back to the 70s/80s. Look if you dont like a programme, don't watch it. I can think of many programmes that i like.

Doctor Who, Spooks, Life on Mars, QI, Have I got news for you, Come dine with me, the apprentice, X factor

I have noticed a mix of dramas and reality tv. BUT you have to remember, times change. I'm as you would all put it- "the ipod generation."

I went to spain and advert breaks were 15 mins!!!!

  • 101.
  • At 09:55 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • John, Devon wrote:

I get the news from the BBC website now. Can't stand the TV news any more.

  • 102.
  • At 10:11 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • david terrance wilson wrote:

I agree about the + programs but for me the weorst thing of all is the inane advertising shorts they show in the middle of a serious programme and to make it even worse they show them all on different channels at the same time slot. and then the weird realty programs and the new talk shows if I coudnt turn to read the newspaper i'de be gagging

  • 103.
  • At 10:18 PM on 21 Aug 2007,

Anyone reading through all or most of the comments must have noticed the almost 100% negativity, particularly towards the BBC.

I watch very little television, partly because there seems to be so very little worth watching and what I do watch I find so much to criticise. Like many of the previous comments I fail to understand why we need two newsreaders; why they need to stand together then sit together; shout the headlines as if they were jumping out of the front pages of a tabloid newspaper, sensationalise everything into utter trash, stating the obvious, etc.. I cannot believe how low the BBC1 has stooped with some of its programmes, particuarly on a Saturday evening. The COAST series - brilliant! I am looking forward to Michael Wood's series, about to start, on India. Play for Today in the 60s was wonderful. As for Radio, I do enjoy Today, etc... However Michael Parkinson on Radio 2 on Sunday mornings never lets his "special guests" have their say - he is too busy talking himself - with the exception of James Naughtie on Sunday 19 August. I think he is the only one who has been able to speak, almost uninterrupted by Michael. Michael's guest's newspaper review becomes "Michael's" review as he talks almost incessantly about sport! Fenella Fielding, Rdio 2 newsreader, is incapable of presenting a 2 minute news bulletin without making at least one error, when she has had an hour in which to prepare it!

Why does not, particularly the BBC, not listen to and take heed of its viewers' and listeners' opinions when it asks for them! Sorry to ramble on!

  • 104.
  • At 10:27 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • DLG wrote:

All that comes into my head right now is ... "BRING BACK MORECAMBE AND WISE"!! I know this is not possible,but I consider the period their shows were on as the golden age of television. There is nothing at all on the television that even comes close to the wonderful entertainment and mood lifting qualities their shows provided. IN MY OPINION TV IS THERE TO HONESTLY INFORM (NOT MISLEAD)ITS VIEWERS, AND PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE.

  • 105.
  • At 10:33 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Ian Colpus wrote:

I rarely watch TV as too many programmes are either American product or reality shows/ soaps that are banal beyond belief. Why do TV commissioning producers no longer create new tv ideas instead of copying the stupidity of the Americans. There is some quality USA programmes such as Jag, CSI & Stargate which my teens watch but there is also tons of absolute drivel. Why don't you have a real talent show, look for the next generation of bands, singers etc that are already out there playing in pubs and clubs rather than allowing Simon Cowell to manufacture a 1 hit wonder that has as much substance as a sneeze in a tissue. Why doesn't someone try something daring like bring variety shows back as it appears that they could have a comeback, as if you analyze "Britain's got talent" it would appear that the viewing public like variety. I use to watch anything up to 4 hours tv a night, I would be surprised if it is 4 hours a week, mainly motor racing or factual programmes, I try to find more European programmes but find it difficult as the spare channels are becoming swamped with "ethnic TV". I have two teenagers who watch a few programmes but mainly use the tv itself as a means of viewing DVD's, games or karaoke when their friends come around. When we first had the analogue satellite reciever, we could get German, French and Italian TV programmes that were different, informative, assisted learning an alternative language & were a bit more nicely raunchy, Sky has forced upon us what they want to sell us rather than what we really want, why else would "men & motors" change from being a channel devoted to male interests into a backwater channel populated with 70's "comedy" repeats & low brow US cop shows. Conclusion.. TV is dead or dieing, or becoming the tranquilizer for the mentally inactive

  • 106.
  • At 10:40 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

My main gripes about the state of TV right now are as follows:

EastEnders. (And similar 'gritty' dramas such as Casualty, Holby City, etc). Every single one of them is saturated with promiscuous sex, constant arguing / fighting, over-use of bad language (I'm not a prude where swearing is concenrned, but it loses its impact when it's every third word) and generally portraying the very worst side of human nature. There's a certain irony to the BBC's constant hand-wringing over the 'state; of our society and violent / disrespectful behaviour by young people whilst continuing to feed thema diet of mind-numbing, corrosive rubbish because some focus group somewhere has told you it's what the audience want.

Hyperbole and distortion in news and social affairs reporting. There's no such thing as a slight statisitical increase anymore; everyhting has to be an 'epidemic' or a 'timebomb' or most frequently a 'crisis'. Linked to this is the BBC's blatant contribution to the spread of moral panics. Of course moral panics are great from an editor's point of view because they're self-sustaining, lend themselves to soundbite reporting and are quickly picked up by other outlets lending them an air of legitimacy but unfortuantely the true scale of issues tends to get lost somewhere in it all. In particular I'm talking about the BBC's focus on climate change (scientists are still divided on both causes and effects), youth and 'yob culture' again an issue which is massively exaggerated in its severity) and obesity (the corporation's topic du jour and a prime example of overstepping your remit and trying to influence public opinion and even modify behaviour). I don't want twenty stories a day about fat kids, fat dogs, fat pregnant women, fat babies and whatever else the redtop agenda you now seem to follow decides constitutes 'news' that day. I want insightful and unbiased coverage, more emphasis on international news, less on public health 'crises' and above all a quality product which sets this so-called public service broadcaster apart as a genuine alternative to its commercial rivals.

  • 107.
  • At 10:42 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Veronica Seaton wrote:

I would just like to comment on the background noise that all television programs seem to be accompanied by. It is very difficult to hear the dialogue on such programs due to the loud and unnecessary background noise. In order to hear what is being said, the volume has to be turned up but all this does is increase the background noise and still it is not always possible to hear what is being said.

It would also be great to have some programs on watercolour painting and other such hobbies. I have been watching watercolour painting on Discovery Realtime but the programs are repeated over and over again. Television should be for all and not just for people who are hooked on soaps - it should also be thought provoking. Not everyone wants to sit and watch Big Brother!!

  • 108.
  • At 10:53 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • John Hackett wrote:

I fail to see why after spending / forced to spend £135 per year, I am unable to see a film on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, which after all is the time most people want to sit down and relax with a good film to watch. I am sure there are 'millions' of viewers who are happy to watch films after 10pm and then going on till early morning, but I for one have to work. it's about time a little thought more thought is placed on content and times.

  • 109.
  • At 10:59 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Alison Oliphant wrote:

Who gives a damn whether some moronic phone-in show was rigged or not. I now distrust BBC TV for a quite different reason. That sort of show should never have been part of the BBC's remit which as a public service should be free from the commercial junk of which there is plenty on other channels. Even BBC2 has largely (Newsnight far) gone the way of BBC1 and the commercial channels. Because I can no longer trust BBC TV to produce quality programs in a way that isn't fit for a teenager with ADD, I probably do miss some good programs. Thank God for Radio 4, (Radio 3 and the World Service too), which I can trust to entertain or teach me without even looking at the Radio Times to see what's on. They give grown-up entertainment for people who don't want to waste their lives on broadcasting opiates. I presume it's only a matter of time before some inane controller decides that Radio 4 should also start appealing to the lowest common denominator instead of providing some cultural leadership

  • 110.
  • At 11:05 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Russell Jones wrote:

Stop making science programmes for idiots. Why make them accessible by cretins, when cretins will never watch science programmes? All you're doing is alienating and patronising people who DO want to watch intelligent content.

My comment is about science programming, but applies equally to news, politics or any "highbrow" broadcast. There are a million idiotic soaps, reality and celebrity programmes that can be enjoyed by people with low standards and no brains. Why do TV channels persist in devaluing and dumbing-down the few remaining highbrow programmes?!

  • 111.
  • At 11:05 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Nicoll wrote:

TV is irrelevant to the degree that I don't even have one. OTOH I do spend a fair amount of time listening to BBC 7 - principally because BBC 7 is both listen-on-demand and advert-free. Until or unless broadcast scheduled TV gets replaced by a viewer-selected on-demand service - probably delivered over the internet - it is going to remain irrelevant to me. It follows that the current model of national TV providers needs to die, because if I want to watch, e.g. US programming, I'll stream it from the US provider as soon as it becomes available: not a year later when (if!) someone in the UK chooses to broadcast it. I might well be prepared to pay for an on-demand service allowing me to watch what I want when I want - which will be little and rarely, so probably on a pay-per-view basis - but there is no way I would tolerate an on-demand service populated by adverts. I see no future whatsoever for TV in its present form: much like the music industry, the current TV industry is a dinosaur that is already dead, but is so big the outlying limbs haven't noticed yet.

  • 112.
  • At 11:10 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Alison Oliphant wrote:

Who cares whether some moronic phone-in show was rigged or not. I now distrust BBC TV for a quite different reason. That sort of show should never have been part of the BBC's remit which as a public service should be free from the commercial junk of which there is plenty on other channels. Even BBC2 has largely (Newsnight far) gone the way of BBC1 and the commercial channels. Because I can no longer trust BBC TV to produce quality programs in a way that isn't fit for a teenager with ADD, I probably do miss some good programs. Thank God for Radio 4, (Radio 3 and the World Service too), which I can trust to entertain or teach me without even looking at the Radio Times to see what's on. They give grown-up entertainment for people who don't want to waste their lives on broadcasting opiates. I presume it's only a matter of time before some inane controller decides that Radio 4 should also start appealing to the lowest common denominator instead of providing some cultural leadership

  • 113.
  • At 11:19 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Jon Bauer wrote:

If you treat your viewers like idiots, we will become idiots. Please stop the dumbing down.

  • 114.
  • At 11:31 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • D.Smith wrote:

I would go so far to say that any caring parent of young children should forbid TV viewing for them.Better still take the TV to the tip.There is nothing positive to be gained by exposing young minds to the disturbing effects of the violence graphically reported in news programmes.It is a direct assault on childhood that previous generations were spared.I have come across many parents who take this view.My own grandchild,Ok so I am over 50 and can safely be ignored,is not permitted TV.Nothing to do with me I might add.
Once the first step has been taken to stop watching television news it becomes very easy to stop watching the rest of the semi literate rubbish produced by all channels.

Good old ITV, not content with sticking trailers at the beginning and end of the breaks and then in the credits are now putting pop-up banners at random moments in Coronation Street to tell me that Midsomer Murders is coming up at 8.30. The channel seems convinced that the reason viewers are deserting it is that they simply don't know what's on when. We know what's on when, we just don't want to watch because it's crud.

And just as I thought I was beginning to get used to the channel logos that sit in the corner of the screen, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 decide to colour them in and make them solid again. Yep - that should bring the viewers flocking.

ITV needs to spend less on aggressive marketing techniques that don't work and plough the money into providing some quality, entertaining programmes.

  • 116.
  • At 11:48 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • David Skinner wrote:

I realise that it is difficult to be fair when handling varied news at high speed, but am concerned at the general dumbing-down across TV, with the BBC perhaps going down fastest.

Foul language passed off as "strong". The rudeness towards "guests", who are often interrupted, with several people speaking at once.

The lack of respect for those who hold great responsibilty- some reporters may not like President Bush, for example, but to refer to the Head of State of the world's most important country as "Bush" is simply naive bad manners.

The "reality shows" glorify immature behaviour.

I also note a reference to "apathy". As a Councillor, I try my absolute hardest 7 days and nights a week, and always speak the straight unvarnished truth. Unfortunately, with respect to the many fine people whom I represent, the truth is the last thing that some people wish to hear, because it involves saying "no".

So is there apathy? In some cases, definitely yes.

  • 117.
  • At 11:52 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Gerald Wilson wrote:

There are too many half-baked doc series on BBC4, usually made in Bristol, using BBC archive footage. Histories of Spy fiction, motorways, that kind of thing. It's not the archive that's the problem, it's how they are produced. Grab the idees recues, Martha, quick, and stick them in!

Too many arch programmes presented by Daisy Goodwin.

Far too many channels [Hello BBC3, E4], far too many programmes aimed at young people generally. What do they need them for? And why do broadcasters love young people so much?

Far too many TV experts taking unfortunates in hand when you know the 'improvement' will only last until the crew have gone home.

  • 118.
  • At 11:54 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • kathy wrote:

i think there is too much advertiseing,too much sex and too much swearing and licence is far too high and it should of been abolished years ago.if we have todo with advertiseing for that to happen then so be it,it would benefit us all,no sugar and fat stuff to see and things we cant afford to watch and want to go and buy

  • 119.
  • At 11:55 PM on 21 Aug 2007,
  • Antoín MacAoidh wrote:

Honestly? TV is down falling on a global scale and that's a lot to say; I'm thirteen. Why bother watching "X Factor" for - what is it now - the fourteenth series - and see Louis Walsh get soaked with water, when I could actually go online and watch some original decent comedy on Youtube? Or stop watching "Neighbours", turn on the radio and listen to Scott Mills, Chappers & Laura on Radio 1, and talking (in some way) about the things I care about, things I like, and even watch some of the videos online? Off the radio? The world of TV is getting smaller and smaller; it's obvious.
I must say; the BBC, however criticised (sp?) they have been these past months or so, are doing well for themselves. I mean, go on holiday somewhere, watch the six o'clock news (and if your lucky, the 24 hour news channels) and try to compare them to BBC News 24. It's usually impossible, isn't it? There's no doubt about it - the BBC IS the news. Even regional news covers more than its rival, ITV (ITV regional UTV in N. Ireland.) And some well good programs as well; Heroes, Eastenders, Casualty...the list goes on. A lot of programmes make it internationally, and have done brilliantly, including Doctor Who & Hotel Babylon, and of course, the BBC World Service is king of all world radio stations. My opinion, anyway. =p

But then come the downfalls come; especially the BBC's new approach to "The One". I mean, for instance. "The One Show"? Sorry, no. "Dance X"? Uhh, haven't I seen this before on ITV? Sorry, BBC, you're not pulling us in. The list beckons on but it's time to stop.

I am the youth, and the youth is the new generation. Decades later, we'll be all sitting home sitting on couches drinking bubble tea and having pointless conversations about the olden days, when suddenly someone will say, " Oh, that Seany in big brother, wasn't he a pillock?" or, "My my, 'twas a shame when they brought 'Top Of The Pops' off air, wasn't it? Shameful, shameful," and then we'll laugh about the times about some of the innuendo we heard on the radio. It's possible.

So in conclusion; I think BBC programmes are indifferent. But what will the future hold? No more "Just the Two of Us" series, I'm hoping.

  • 120.
  • At 12:00 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Pat Wiles wrote:

Please, please, please can we have more programmes that the whole family can view together without violence swearwords etc.

The clarity of the pictures are terrible with constant breakups.
Why when we have waited to hear an important announcement from the police Prime Minister or something similar do you feel it neccessary to comment on it while it is going on. It is infuriating.

Ban all reality shows such as Big Brother. They aren't anything like reality, they lower the level of television to its basest. We wan't programmes that uplift us whatever type of programmes they are.

There are far too many repeats. It is a very cheap and easy thing to do.
It stifles creativity which we are desperately in need of.

  • 121.
  • At 12:16 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Gerry Watts, Hobart wrote:

As a long term resident of Australia, and now naturalised, I am disappointed at the poor quality of UK comedy programmes compared with those of 20 or 30 years ago. The content is ntellectually pathetic and seems to rely on cheap insults, sexual inferences, swearing, violence and poor acting: all part of the dumbing down of society I suppose. BBC documentaries remain excellent, especially the likes of David Attenborough, and similar programmes.

  • 122.
  • At 12:19 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • John Fisher wrote:

I think Lucy at 02:09 pm on 21st August pretty much said it all really, except for the complete inaccuracy involved in most news reporting. Apparently reporters just report the facts, WELL perhaps a little KNOWLEDGE and interpretation might actually be informative.

A good (but by no means unique) example happened today concerning the Space Shuttle landing. BBC News stated that it landed despite a "slash in its side". The facts are (and easily available) a " small chip in a heat shield tile UNDERNEATH" which had been assessed over the last 10 days or so as not a problem. It was not repaired for that reason, not as the BBC stated as being too difficult/dangerous. For goodness sake this information is all public domain and readily available except apparently to the BBC News team, where do reporters live??

I work in aviation (last 36 years), and the level of accuracy in the media when reporting aviation related stories leads me to fear that the same pathetic level of accuracy also applies to news covering subjects I am not such an expert in.

If, as I suspect, this is the case, then the media generally may well be guilty of distorting the world we live in on all subjects.

And yes, why does a reporter have to stand outside the Ministry of Defence purely to report on a defence related story.....???

Finally on the BBC in particular, why do you constantly, and very irritatingly, advertise yourselves to us? It pains me to say it but I probably on balance prefer adverts on commercial TV to the BBC's constant self plugging.

  • 123.
  • At 12:25 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • gero wrote:

I have not owned a television since 1984. I don't need t.v. to entertain or inform me. However, I do watch some programmes when they are released on DVD e.g. Planet Earth, Little Britain, Catherine Tate. These have been recommended by friends as "good contemporary t.v." I find them really dull.

The comedy programmes take a trite idea and repeat it over and over. The logic seems to be that the irony of repeating a boring thing will eventually make people laugh. I just walk away. Irony is so-o-o-o-o boring.

Planet Earth is "high definition" and uses some new tchnology to record animal behaviours. It looks nice on my high definition monitor and the behaviours are interesting. However, compared with classic wildlife documentaries Planet Earth has no personality, no passion, no soul. Classic Attenborough might have been low tech but it used to make me laugh out loud. Planet Earth just makes me want to switch off. I have the boxed set but I doubt I will be able to sit through all the programmes. Yawn. And that's from someone who cares passionately about wildlife.

Why is television no longer part of my life? When I was a child there were no DVDs or videos and television broadcasts had to be seen on a certain day/time. This meant that people gathered together to watch a favourite programme or an historic event. It was a shared social occasion. Once programmes could be recorded there ceased to be that sense of shared experience, television became an increasingly solitary activity. I think what I enjoyed was not so much the programme as the experience of sharing the programme. When "improved technology" undermined that social context I lost interest in watching t.v. Maybe I'd start watching t.v. if I could undo the effects of new technology. I don't think I am alone either. I notice that teenagers listen to their music on the loudspeakers of their mobile phones. The sound quality is terrible but sharing their music is a social occasion. The use of personal headphones was a technological improvement but at social cost - and they are rolling back the technology to get back the social benefit. Maybe television needs to learn from that.

  • 124.
  • At 12:40 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Iain West wrote:

The television industry in this country is in serious decline. What was once the envy of the world is now a laughing stock. The BBC and ITV were once revered all over the globe as producers of the highest quality television, now they have both gone down the route of producing mainly cheap populist tat that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

I'm only 30 but as far as television goes I wish I'd been born 20 or even 30 years ago. Watching DVD's and (if we're lucky) the very occasional rerun on satellite channels reveal many classic dramas, comedy and factual programmes that in the current climate would simply not get made. Quantity (to the overpaid and under-talented execs) these days equates to quality - quantity of viewers = quality. There is no patience any more to let a programme build up an audience. I cite Monty Python and Fawlty Towers as examples of shows that didn't do brilliantly well to begin with but as word spread, built up a following. These days if something doesn't do well in the first nanosecond it gets shunted in between the news and the phone-in quiz programmes (and don't get me started on them!).

The TV execs have no balls anymore - nobody seems to want to spend any money on anything unless they can be guaranteed an audience. In most cases this means copying formats that have been done to death. Look what happened not that long ago with the glut of docusoaps we had. One channel had a programme about an airline, a month later the other side had a programme almost exactly the same about another airline (but this time the carrier was a different colour!), ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Dancing on [thin] Ice’ come to mind.

I can think of several sadly missed television executives who will be spinning in their graves right now.

However since John Birt and his successor (ignoring Greg Dyke who actually had a brilliant brain and a modicum of intelligence (and talent) when it came to programming) and the bean counters took over the only thing important is the balance sheet. Sod quality, sod integrity, if it's cheap and drags in viewers let's make it. Oh and while we're at it lets sell off the family silver. We're in the odd situation where the BBC doesn't transmit its own programmes anymore. They no longer play out their own programmes and very shortly they won't even be able to make them themselves any more (sale of BBC studios pending). It’s indicative of the current management’s money grabbing cost cutting drive which will inevitably be the BBC’s undoing.

ITV is no different. The consolidation and eventual merger of the franchises coupled with the gradual closure of local studio centres (farewell Central, Tyne Tees, Anglia and probably very soon to be Granada and others) means that we can all kiss goodbye to not just proper regional programming (have we not already bar the contractual news obligation) but also to anything other than someone with a media studies degree wandering around with a DV camera.

I'm not saying everything made these days is rubbish, far from it, the odd program slips through that is fantastic, but the overwhelming amount of bilge that you have to wade through to get to them sometimes make you think that it’s probably not worth bothering and ditch the TV license, get a monitor without a tuner and wait for the DVD to come out.

  • 125.
  • At 01:07 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • D McDermott wrote:

Who I hate, is the 3 million south east viewers who allow BBC 1 to get away with showing anything, as they would never consider watching “the other side” which has come to mean any commercial channel. I am sure if BBC 1 showed the old test card they would still get 2 to 3 million viewers at prime time.

  • 126.
  • At 01:50 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

I don't know what it is about the BBC but in recent times it has just become really irritating all round, particularly the news coverage. For example, why does ANY news bulletin need two presenters, like some bizarre double-act finishing off each other's sentence? It's silly. I also despise the BBC's insistence in covering American news first, no matter how tedious, irrelevant or pointless it is. For example, going live to hear what Bush has to say on virtually anything, even when you know damn well his bloody broadcasts are primarily for the American audience. Another example: following the recent bridge collapse in the US, the BBC brought in a British bridge "expert" to say that perhaps we should check our own bridges, just in case. As if we are so bloody joined at the hip with America that even our own bridges, in some bizarre sense of solidarity, would somehow start collapsing in sympathy with it! It was hysterical.

I also hate the fact the BBC would rather dump 'Neighbours' which is colourful, upbeat and light-hearted, and instead hold on to that GOD-AWFUL 'EASTENDERS'! For crying out loud, no wonder we live in such a depressed, stressed-out nation. I especially can't understand this decision when you see just how many Brits are fleeing the UK for Australia. 'Eastenders' = depressing, negative, sould-destroying; 'Neighbours' = positive, colourful, vibrant, upbeat. See the connection? I think someone in the BBC's higher echelons even said that 'Eastenders' is damaging the BBC. Ya think? Dump it!

And as for people saying they hate reality shows...umm excuse me, it's YOU LOT who watch the stupid things. For myself I can categorically say I have never watched a "reality" show on any bloody channel; I'm not one of those muppets who says one thing and does another. The public are hypocrites; the media gives them what they want. And we see that as the collective IQ of the nation drops, so too does the standard of TV programming. They are connected. Honestly, people decrying reality shows on TV is as ludicrous as any one of us saying we're not influenced by advertising, and is just as hypocritical. If you really hate BBC reality shows, whether they are about animals, celebs, or whatever, then simply switch off in sufficient numbers so that the BBC big cheeses get the message. But the truth is you WON'T! The BBC would rather broadcast to chavs and neanderthal scum who like "participating" (what a joke) in programmes to win stupid holidays than even attempt to do anything high-brow or different. It knows that if it were to bring anything over from BBC FOUR onto the terrestrial channels no-one would watch it, or our heads would implode. Indeed, I'm waiting to see how long it is before 'Horizon' goes off air; it's only a matter of time. God, it's the only science programme left on the BBC of any note! Having said that, I'm pleasantly surprised to see the BBC is still broadcasting 'The Sky at Night', though I'm assuming you're waiting for Patrick to pop his clogs before dumping it. It has been going for 50 years, after all (sarcasm added).

  • 127.
  • At 01:57 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • James Dodds wrote:

The explosion of digital TV has only helped to destroy quality programming. There appears to be more TV Channels than quality programmes, and any old rubbish is being produced to fill them.

1)Quality of BBC 6 o'clock news has declined massively. Now resort to Channel Four News/Newsnight for decent coverage. ITV news not even worth considering.

2)Far too many soaps. My life is depressing enough without watching the happy residents of Albert Square.

3)Documentaries are a shambles (Panorama went way down hill) with exception of recent Andrew Marr political documentary on BBC 2. Again, ITV so bad not an option.

4)Too many reality shows

5)Bombarded with debt consolidation adverts. I've already complained to Sky about this - no response.

6)Channel five seems to have more quality entertainment programmes that either BBC or ITV (House, Shark, CSI)

7)And as a regular user of 4 on demand, I find it shocking that the BBC is so far behind.

  • 128.
  • At 01:59 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Martin Legg wrote:

With the growing popularity of on-demand services and downloadable content broadcast TV is in decline.
Advertisers are already moving to the web to capture certain audiences, especially the under 30s.

Eventually the only audience remaining for the channels will be the vegetables who sit on the sofa all evening watching Eastenders and reality tv crap.

Maybe thats 70% of the UK though haha.

No, jump 20 years into the future broadcast TV will be dead.
Good riddance.

  • 129.
  • At 02:59 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Gregory Wells-King wrote:

New music talent, in the form of a show to encourage and promote.

'The old Grey whistle Test'. Give this old idea a re valued face lift.

More addult and with the most important factor, raw talent from all the available music styles, Electronic, Jazz, World, Crossover, Progressive Rock Etc, with no restrictions, real voteing, real showcases, real people.

  • 130.
  • At 03:33 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Mart Comber wrote:

News 24: Take away the 45 second long countdowns, adverts for upcoming programmes, and adverts for the channel you are already watching and you end up with about 10 mins of news followed by an update followed by the weather then the same thing happens all over again. You should change the title of the channel to news 10 mins. What do those people in the background do all day? I saw a guy getting his jacket on and swanning off at 16.55 recently. Hey mate, plenty of time for another 5 mins work yet!

  • 131.
  • At 03:54 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Davey wrote:

I'm currently on a work assignment in the Philippines and considering we're always told British tv is the best in the world looking through the schedules I can find very little British programming.

Yes, I can usuallly find the Naked Chef and Nigella Lawson on the Lifestyle channels, and odd episodes of Spooks and Doc Martin but thats about it. Considering many of our tv shows were the precursors to many US giants (I'm thinking of Casualty here, older then ER) our shows never seem to fair very well.

Considering the history of our country that we could draw inspiration from, the creativeness of our people,the skills in the industy seem to be so under utilised. Considering our institutions like the BBC and ITV, why are there no British shows like Will & Grace, Greys Anatomy (after all Grey was a British Dr!), 6ft Under, Bones, Lost, 24?

I read a news report recently that ITV was considering putting a US show on Channel 3 at primetime 7pm onwards on weeknights. Is this due to lack of British programming? It seems all our cash is saved to buy US shows instead of invested in home grown content.

  • 132.
  • At 04:12 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Sue Simons wrote:


After reading the negative feedback, I thought a little positive stroking may be appropriate.

Perhaps, people in the UK, just don't appreciate how good their television programs really are. Yes, there probably are too many reality shows, but that pales by comparison to the poor quality of television in north America. Domestic audiences in the UK may not be aware, just how much UK television is available over here. Everything from nature programmes, documentaries, to world class dramas and serials, comedy and of course children's television. If it is all so bad, how come TV channels in America and Canada are willing to pay good money to acquire these programmes?

In Canada, we don't have a licence fee. Our public broadcaster, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), receives some funding from the government. The rest of the budget comes from advertising revenue, and probably a small amount from selling some of it's productions abroad. Over the years, funding has decreased, resulting in very little original programming and the minimum 'Canadian Content', to satisfy the regulator.

It may be easy to forget that any broadcaster, be it public or commercial has to accommodate a large and diverse audience, with an enormous range of taste, values and opinions.

  • 133.
  • At 05:15 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Peter Hart wrote:

I have lived in the US for the past 16 years, and I used to long for British television. However over recent years on trips back i have become more and more dismayed by the banality and mediocrity of the programs. How many real estate, Big brother'esque shows can you have? And My God dont I agree with all the previous comments regarding TV news. In fact the only shows I thought decent were the US imports (God Bless HBO). TV aside, still rely on streaming Radio4, but for how long will that remain the jewel that it is today? We wait with bated breath.....

  • 134.
  • At 05:17 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • ankh -- BKK wrote:

We need this sort of TV event in Thailand as well.

TV industry here is so aweful, nothing interesting.

Radio here too, but that is another story.

  • 135.
  • At 05:29 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Paul Bastier wrote:

The BBC has become left wing, anti Christian and pro Muslim. I rarely watch it and I certainly don't trust.

  • 136.
  • At 05:58 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • A Donald wrote:

BBC news mainly consists of conversations between news staff that ignore the viewer/listener.

BBC news only reports headlines, with no detail to satisfy the viewer’s curiosity about the headline.

BBC news and programs frequently ask questions of people, but ignore the point when the question is unanswered. The questioner does not point this out to the person being asked or the viewer.

  • 137.
  • At 06:11 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Sharad Chandra wrote:

Whether you put my comments up on display or not doesn't bother me, what I am keen about is that the TV being an extremely powerful media it is used responsibly for the benefit of society and not purely to make money through sensation.

Dr.Sharad Chandra
Dr. Sharad Chandra
Member Secretary
Society for Human Values and Universal Responsibility
New Delhi
Website :

  • 138.
  • At 06:17 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • John Hewett wrote:

would like to see far fewer channels and more quality new programming. The bandwidth would be far better spent on high definition rather than endless repeats of programmes that aired just a few months ago.

  • 139.
  • At 06:39 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • gordon haskell wrote:

I think those who need to be fired won't read past 3 or 4 negative comments posted on a conference wall.They'll be lunching.So to keep things brief; Without principles we can be bought and if the programmes have to be sold to the USA then we become compliant with the USA's stranglehold on all media.In effect we become an extension of Bush's America . One example? Check the building collapse of the 'third tower'. . The BBC reported it before it happened courtesy of Fox TV.

  • 140.
  • At 07:20 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • jon dean wrote:

the current state of television?
In a word - dire.
Will anyone take notice of the opinions in these posts - No!
The brainless "media studies" graduate lunatics have taken control of the asylum but fortunately there are many alternative sources of news and entertainment. The "idiots lantern" has become precisely that.

  • 141.
  • At 07:22 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Alan Chesterman wrote:

Common courtesy would be nice. When the powers that be in TV decide to change the Freeview channel numbers could they make an announcement instead of just letting people find out by accident.

If you are recording a series each week and have timers set they have to be changed to avoid recording the blank screen that I did a few days ago.

  • 142.
  • At 07:27 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

We supposedly have the best allround television in the world. God help the rest of them. The choice in Britain is superb and there are still about 5% quality programmes. To be selective is not to be disappointed. The Beeb has lost direction and is completely thrown by the little contretemps it has had with our inept and so called government. True leadership is lacking in all quarters. It can only get better before we all stop caring, hopefully.

  • 143.
  • At 07:29 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Christine Chambers wrote:

Did some people think that programmes are shot in sequence, in real time and in one take?

Of course editing takes place to put together the best sequence to 'tell the story.' How many takes does the 'news reporter' do to get the wave crashing in the background for a hurricane story? Is it better to show the confrontation between two people building from glaring looks even though those looks were at the end of the argument?

We want entertainment - let the programme makers do their jobs.

read a book instead

  • 145.
  • At 07:31 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

We supposedly have the best allround television in the world. God help the rest of them. The choice in Britain is superb and there are still about 5% quality programmes. To be selective is not to be disappointed. The Beeb has lost direction and is completely thrown by the little contretemps it has had with our inept and so called government. True leadership is lacking in all quarters. It can only get better before we all stop caring, hopefully.

  • 146.
  • At 07:38 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • JS wrote:

Most television is dull, formulaic and caters to the lowest common denominator. Furthermore, many claims are unqualified (presumably for reasons of impact) and as such misleading. The only programmes that seem to be immune so far are the occasional well-researched historical pieces on BBC 4 (and not all of those qualify). For everything else, one is much better off with a book.

Television news is frankly a complete waste of time: fuller coverage with more detail and less in the way of emotional content is available online, with the added benefit of comparing stories to see how slanted the various reports are.

In fact, it has all become so bad that we have decided not to have a television and waste money on a licence, which is far more satisfactory.

  • 147.
  • At 07:41 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Susan Hibberd wrote:

Has anyoneat BBC THREE tried watching the effect of squeezing the end credits of the recent reruns of Doctor Who Confidentisl?

It's impossible, simply impossible: my 4:3 TV Set, with my DTTV Seet-top box set to Letter Box, winds up with miniscule wrintg only half visible withthose who make Doctr Who looking asa though they are on the rack.

MAny things about squeezing and talking over credits are not good.

Would that the boradcast industry let me enjoy the end of a programme in its entirity without telling me about what's coming on next: Radio Times does that without spoiling.

  • 148.
  • At 07:46 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tony Parker wrote:

Please can TV broadcasters better indicate when a programme is a repeat? It is so annoying to find what you think is a new programme or new series is in fact a repeat run. After a few minutes watching you think is this something that you have seen before, but you are not sure. Then after about 15 minutes you realise it is a repeat - but then you have missed the start of another programme that you could have watched!
Perhaps they should instead be required to indicate if it isn't a repeat - it would save a lot of message writing!
I might send this comment in twice - but then I don't want to repeat myself!

  • 149.
  • At 07:49 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • John A.S.Turner wrote:

Paragraph No.12 (above) strongly agree with. Particularly "Perma Trailler"

  • 150.
  • At 07:55 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Ste Norbury wrote:

My main issue is with the news on both BBC and ITV.

First of all, what's with all the standing up and waving of arms from reporters during bulletins? Do the editors not think that the words themselves make the required point? Or is that how they do it in America?

A lot of news broadcasts now seem to be based on theory and hearsay rather than established facts, aping the style of Channel Six anchorman Kent Brockman. It seems that, due to saturation news coverage and the insular world that media types exist in, editors would prefer to broadcast inaccurate assumptions or rumour than risk missing out on a "scoop".

ITV started the current trend for replacing proper news with human interest stories (e.g. the 'and finally' on News at Ten) but the BBC has followed them into this trap by ending bulletins with stories about cats that play air guitar while Natasha Kaplinsky and George Alagiah chuckle awkwardly.

And finally, when did the comma replace the word 'and' on the BBC website? For example, "Brown, Merkel to attend friendly match", This isn't CNN!!

Give me a good book. Television is boring .You get a few good programes a year.I am fed up with shows about people who can't sing,dance or have basic skills.TV use to be good.Look at the afternoon schedule same old rubbish repeats repeats repeats. Pity the poor housebound a diet of films which have done the rounds on all channels.They must take it in turns.Wonderful.No wonder more of our senior people are still working to keep stimulated.

  • 152.
  • At 08:07 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Capricorn wrote:

Bring back Mary Whitehouse! What is happening with TV? There used to be a time when you could sit down as a family and watch a decent programme together. Now there is so much obsenity and pornography on the channels that you are afraid to have a TV in your home.

Those rubbish viewings should be left in the cinemas where folks have to pay to see them.

Can we tidy up TV, stop the violence and sexual exposure, which inevitably influences our young people, and inturn causes an increase in criminal activity.

Complaints are made about anti-social behaviour in young people, and yes it maybe so, but Adults, especially those in charge of a very influential media such as TV, need to stand up and be counted as part of the growing problems that are occuring in our childrens life.


  • 153.
  • At 08:10 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Francesca Walker wrote:

I haven't watched much TV since having my third child and becoming a freelance writer. However, I will name the programmes I have watched in the last few years:

State of Play
Life on Mars
Doctor Who

The office (through my fingers)

I watch the occasional documentary on BBC2, BBC 4 and Channel 4 and, if I'm feeling really self-indulgent, an old movie on TCM. The only stuff on ITV I have watched in about five years are the 3 Jane Austen adaptations (Northanger Abbey was the only good one).

I cannot bear reality TV. It reminds me of the line from Alfred J. Prufrock - "sprawling on a pin." It may be a cliche, but if the public are happy to eat up old tripe, where is the incentive to serve them caviar?

The point is, I have a life. If old people have nothing to do but watch soaps, I suppose there are plenty for them. Perhaps the rest of us should realise that TV can be a pleasant, relaxing, SMALL part of life. Any more than that, we are stilting both our children's and our own brains.

  • 154.
  • At 08:12 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Joe Baker wrote:

How can the BBC, a publicly funded (involuntarily in most cases) company, possibly justify the rediculous sum of license payers money promised to Jonathan Ross for the next three years? £6,000,000 per year is a relatively huge percentage of the total budget for one mediocre presenter. I have begrudged every penny of my license fee in the past because of the poor standard of BBC programming but to throw buckets full of our hard earned at an uncouth, poorly educated, lisping dandy is an insult to our collective intelligence.

I can sense the same money wasting, lack of accountability, money management style of the current Labour government is prevalent in the BBC. Sort it out!

  • 155.
  • At 08:22 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Richard Dyke wrote:

Lottery programs dont need to be an hour or half an hour of crap quizes and sending people around the world, all I want to know is what the numbers are this week.

No more programs where celebs dance/sing/learn how to unicycle, as soon as one of these multi-week crapfests finish another one starts with half the same judges and exactly the same format, with an embarasing trailer to try and get you to watch.

Idents - I dont want millions of pounds spend on hippos, motorbikes and footballers, I'd rather that money was spent on programs.

Comedies - try making some that are actually funny, and stop empolying the people who stoped being funny about 20 years ago. Try and make a bunch of pilot episode comedies to see how they react rather than dumping an entire series worth of crap on us, then hyping them to death in a vien attempt to drum up viewers for something you know isnt funny.

Repeats, if you have to show them, at least show the good stuff that isnt repeated often, like the young ones, up pompay, and the Spike Milligan Q shows.

Doctor Who - the new series is great, but your sitting on hundreds of the old shows, why not repeat those, now that the appitite for Who is back?

  • 156.
  • At 08:31 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Ian Martin wrote:

I remain a fan of much of UK terrestrial TV; there are too many people who don't like a show or style of TV and demand that it be cancelled - how selfish is that?

Recently I have enjoyed:- Coast, Heroes, My Name Is Earl, Doctor Who, Rome, Royle Family special and many many more shows. I'm sure I've missed many others which is why I welcome repeats - just not repeats of the same 30 year old Porridge episodes again and again!

  • 157.
  • At 08:38 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Ade Mason wrote:


"the Dong of death" a red button to press when you get rubbish telly ! that is true interactivity
maybe - we could get back some licence fee or an award from advertisers (for commercial companies) for the feedback ?
maybe - a listings site like could add a button of death to their site so I could even trash a whole evenings viewing at once !
maybe - after a certain number of "dongs" the broadcaster would be forced to take the programme off air and put a re-run of "Heartbeat" on instead
emarrassing in the extreme !

oh well here's to day dreaming !

  • 158.
  • At 08:53 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Michael Daly wrote:

Here is my list of problems with TV.

1. VERY loud adverts between very quiet programmes.
2. Interviewers who seem more interested in making a speech or humiliating their guest than actually extracting useful information. (Andrew Neill style).
3. Idle speculation and gossip presented as serious news.
4. Talent shows without any talent.
5. Product placement in BBC shows.
6. Too much focus on celebrity and sports in news programmes.
7. Music played over dialogue.
8. Continuity announcers talking over programme endings. Ruins the atmosphere.
9. So called experts who seem to know nothing about the subject they are presenting. (Sport, finance, science).
10. 'Well, you know, I mean', and other really annoying meaningless phrases.

  • 159.
  • At 09:12 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Rob Howells wrote:

PVR video on demand and web based tv are the future. The industry will survive if it understands that people are happy to receive small, unobtrusive adverts prior to viewing on or offline but need the freedom to view what they want, when they want.

This will also see the decline of bland tv and more demand for specialist tv. Imagine tv like a search engine. You see a news report on a hurricane and it links (or you search for) a documentary, a feature film or a tv series on the subject.

  • 160.
  • At 09:26 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

I've not had a TV in the house for over 5 years. The reason is that I simply don't think that the £120 licence fee is good value for money. I'd rather spend £120 per year on DVDs to watch on my computer.

  • 161.
  • At 09:27 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • tone wrote:

Too much TV - 24/7 broadcasting; dozens of channels; budgets stretched to breaking point to cover the need to always have SOMETHING on the air.

Inevitable result? - cheap programming; talking heads; gossip; repetition; commercials; mogadon nation watching fast-food crap.

Remedy - fewer channels, switch-off during most of the working day, fewer executives lining their pockets, a genuinely powerful standards watchdog.

But will that happen? Who will have the courage to actually do it?


  • 162.
  • At 09:28 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Alan MacLean wrote:

What's happened to risk-taking in television? It seems like the only way people are willing to put their neck on the line for new programming is if it involves so-callled celebrities. I say 'new' programming in the loosest possible definition since most of the shows are re-hashes of the same format with a slightly different theme and different (but not that dissimilar) cast.

Most of the shows that demonstrate the willingness to try new things recently have come from America (Heroes, The Wire, Lost) There have been a few exceptions e.g. Life on Mars, which although it wasn't the greatest or most original show ever, had some excellent moments and ideas and shows how starved the audiences are for good original British programming given how we all lapped it up.

I suppose there are a couple of difficulties with this - the wider number of channels available now makes it harder for a new programme to make a mark, but I believe it can still be done, e.g. Peep Show, Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh. Please remember that it can take time for a new show to build an audience, but don't just chase the trends (e.g. following Little Britain with Catherine Tate, Tittybangbang and Little Miss Jocelyn, all of which I've personally thought were terrible, though Ruddy Hell it's Harry and Paul was surprisingly good).

In addition to this, Friday night programming on BBC2 used to be worth watching, when there were shows like Red Dwarf and Have I Got News For You. What's on Friday now at 9pm? Ultimate Caving and The Story of India followed by news and Grumpy Old Women on channels BBC1 and 2 respectively. Whilst The Story of India is certainly a worthwhile venture, I do think there should be consideration for having entertainment on the one channel with culture/human interest on the other rather than the culture/human interest on both at the same time.

In general, I watch far less television than I used to, and a lot of it is down to the lowest common denominator ratings-chasing kind of television that has driven away a lot of casual viewers, though I can appreciate it has a place since it obviously appeals to a lot of people.

Diversity is not a bad thing.

  • 163.
  • At 09:31 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Carl wrote:

I would like to thank the BBC for (in no particular order) the latest Series of Doctor Who, Life on Mars and the forthcoming ashes to ashes, Spooks, Radio 2, 6music, Torchwood, The afternoon play's,, Match of the Day, Jonathon Ross, Mock the Week, Absolute Power, Extra's and cleverly securing exclusive rights to the 2nd season of Heroes before the Sci-Fi Channel.

The season finale alone was worth the licence fee and long may you continue to make good quality drama's.

May I suggest however getting rid of BBC3, 1xtra and thus saving some money to make more drama's and less repeats?

  • 164.
  • At 09:46 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

How about a little more political neutrality?

Yesterday is a prime example: the news about cancer survival rates should have prompted a deeply searching interview with the government about why the multi-multi-billion pounds of 'investment' has still not raised survival rates above Eastern European standards. Yet the only interviews with Dawn Primarolo were to give her an open platform to talk about David Cameron's clerical errors!

Come on, BBC - get a grip on the real stories, and stop being led by your internal left-wing bias.

  • 165.
  • At 09:46 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Barbara Tucker wrote:

Excellent current affairs and documentaries appear on TV,however, many people have said that TV panders to the basic and the common denominator, but a more interesting question is: what are the identities of the small group of people who are the policy makers and producers of many of the puerile, boring and at other times gratuitously graphical programs involving violence and sexual activities?.................................

  • 166.
  • At 09:50 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Mollie Kay Smith wrote:

My main comment concerns the lack of choice these days: for example we either get a whole evening of gardening or associated programmes, a whole evening of sporting events, a whole evening of UK sightseeing, a whole evening of animal or bird watching. On other stations we have poor quality 'comedy' shows, soaps, or 'modern' family dramas where everybody seems to be sleeping with everybody else's wife or husband. Perhaps they do reflect what is current in the UK today, but I am sure there are also a great many ordinary families with difficult problems to solve.
A second comment concerns the number of crime based dramas which contain too much blood and gore and horrific violence. Again it might be argued these reflect the truth of what is happening today. We certainly see enough of it on the news progremmes. Still I am sure many viewers would enjoy the more subtle and thought provoking mysteries.

  • 167.
  • At 09:52 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • David wrote:

I have two problems with TV at the moment the amount of reality Tv is too excessive no one really needs to or wants to watch big borther live, those who do need to think bout getting out more as whenever i flick through the channels i always think my tv is broken as there are people talking but no voices. I have no problem with a show like big brother and a dance show and a talent show but there is no need to have 3 of everything and we dont need it reapeated endlessly. Xfactor was on about 5 times this weekend.
The second thing that annoys me is the current BBC drama production with Dr. Who and Rome as perhaps the exception everything that comes out at the moment seems poorly written and I find quite boring. Robin Hood a show that should be excellent is horrendous, how can u get the casting of robin hood so wrong!! WHat has happened to the BBC making great shows, like Band of Brothers even if they did have HBO help it was a truely remarkable drama,up there with the best war films/series. When it was made i hoped this might see the start of a new way of making programmes by the bbc paying that little bit more but getting pure quality!!I hope Rome which is made in this way also and is also excellent will instead see this change in programme making culture.

  • 168.
  • At 10:03 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

I surf through the the mainstream channels and see the unoriginal unimaginative ratings driven dross I have to conclude that you TV commisioners and execs have failed me.

Trump your "Blue Planet" and "Robin Hood" all you like. The former is the exception, not the norm, and the latter is unimaginative, safe, and utterly boring.

  • 169.
  • At 10:08 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Ben Hazell wrote:

One of my main issues is with the quality of digital TV boxes. I've never known a mass market technology with a greater fail rate.
I appreciate that they're pumping out cheap models to get them into peoples hands before the switch over, but the public cannot depend upon such shonky pieces of kit.
I'm only basing this on circumstantial evidence from the cheaper end of the market, but I know that these things are crap enough to be preventing people watching TV. We have to allow an extra ten minutes to retune ours if there is anything we do want to watch, or we miss the start - which I guess is why we have these +1 channels popping up.
Why is it that we never have to re-tune the shopping channels?

  • 170.
  • At 10:08 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Derek Dainton wrote:

A major target seems to be BBC News and I would concur on the whole. The BBC used to be the channel you'd automatically tune in to for authoritative comment but no longer. Even Al Jazeera seems to have a less biased and cleaner (less gimmicky) approach these days. And, bless them, France 24.

Specifically, though, I dislike intensely:

Time check on 'The 6'. We know what time it is, we have clocks and watches and given that we switched on at 6 a time check 15 minutes later is redundant.

The hallowed placement of the Weather Forecast. How many times have interesting interviews on The Today programme been curtailed for this repetitive item.

Local TV News. We've heard the story on the main news. Just because it's in the locality doesn't mean it has to be repeated. Unless, of course, you get all your information from regional programmes. How sad is that?

Sports coverage on the news. It takes up an inordinate amount of time. That surely could be consigned to a specialist channel.

The parachuting in of studio newsreaders to news 'hotspots' Is it felt these celebrities add gravitas?

  • 171.
  • At 10:23 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Michael Ashby wrote:

TV is largely substance-less. I have stopped watching the endless 'brain numbing - fodder' and only turn on the telly to watch a movie these days (Film4 mainly) I prefer to read, use my computer or sit in blissful silence.

I agree with the comments regarding news reporting 'from outside of...' - Get with it and do it from a studio...spare us all.. and save on travel- we don't care that you are outside the Military of Defense - you haven't been allowed inside and we all know... and we don't's patronising and quite frankly silly.

TV, as a generalisation, is Formulaic, patronising and too interested in it's own self- fulfilling agenda/ survival. There is no real attempt to use the immense power for upliftment or something useful. It is dross.

Until programmes start to SERVE the community who pays for it TVs influence will continue to decline. The world will be a better place without 90% of what is transmitted and I would be one of the first pall bearers at it's funeral.

  • 172.
  • At 10:24 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • John Verrall wrote:

Please oh please, why do we have to have such a cachophony of drumming and earsplitting din to introduce each news programme?

  • 173.
  • At 10:25 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Dianne J. Vidugiris wrote:

First let me comment on the state of television news. Compared to American News you brits are doing an excellent job. BBC News tells stories that I have little or nothing of on any of my news programs (cable or network). My first introduction to Darfur was from BBC News.

The state of television in American is in a state of destruction. Far too much time is spent on tabloid stories (i.e. Paris Hilton and the other young women misbehaving and breaking laws and stories like Anna Nicole Smith). The other category is continous coverage of stories that have not truly developed yet (when a disaster occurs and it becomes wall to wall coverage on all the cable channels). Much of the coverage is repetious and is tedious and percludes coverage of other news stories. These types of coverage do not benefit or inform the viewing public. It is a very narrow-minded approach to the news.

I believe the news should be unbiased and wide in range. We are not receiving the total picture here in America.

Now to entertainment television. Here, in America it for the most part has been dumbed down on the networks to the point of becoming unwatchable. Smart programming is removed and often replaced with inane reality-based programs or sitcoms that are pandering to the brainless.

Cable televesion this summer has been a welcomed relief. Stations like TNT and FX have provided intelligent, story driven programmed such as The Closer, Saving Grace and Damages.

The other refuge for those that also perform to be educated rather mind numbed is to turn to the public broadcasting channels which provide documentaries that are truly inspiring and smart. I am spending more time digitally recording this type of programming then any other channels.

The powers that be that make the decisions on programming of both news and entertainment need to be mindful that there are viewers out there that are not brain dead and that this demographic needs programming also.

Thanking you for providing me the forum to voice my opinions on the state of American television

  • 174.
  • At 10:39 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Alan Taylor wrote:

Now that marketing people have taken over BBC presentation, the creative people are treated with utter contempt. Closing credits are now routinely squeezed into an absurdly tiny window so that the marketing idiots can trail a programme that the viewers haven't chosen to view.

The BBC is acting like those people who leave the cinema when the credits start. You might hope that the BBC should know better and show some sort of respect, but sadly it doesn't.

There is no point whatsoever in running closing credits that can't be read. If they are now regarded as worthless, then do away with them on screen and put the credits on a web site where those who are interested can actually read them. Something similar to the IMDB would work very well.

If the BBC doesn't value those who actually make TV programmes, then it's yet another sign that the BBC is badly losing it's way and has no future.

  • 175.
  • At 11:35 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • John wrote:

I agree with many of the above comments, and it seems to me that the basic problem of TV at the moment is that there is too much if it. There is too much time for it to fill, so we get newsreaders telling us something, then a reporter at the scene (usually getting wet) telling us, and then just in case we hadn't got it, the newsreader tells us again. Half way through the news they tell us what is coming, then tell us what it is and at the end tell us all over again what we have just seen.
I look back with nostalgia to the days of the power cuts in the 70s when TV started at 6 and shut down at 10.30. I would love to see this happen again as an experiment. It might surely concentrate the minds of the programme makers and get them to provide something a bit more stimulating than the noisy rubbish we have to pay for whether we like it or not.

  • 176.
  • At 11:39 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Maz wrote:

"TELEVISION HAS BECOME THE OPIUM OF THE MASSES" - sedate the people - rule the world as you please!

  • 177.
  • At 11:47 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Jonathan Greaves wrote:

The real crisis in TV is about happen - with the unnecessary digital switch off. There are many hundreds of thousands of people in this country who will suffer greatly as a result of this - the Industry and Government obviously don't want to hear that many people (especially the elderly) are quite simply scared and confused by this technology and the current provision of providing "assistance" for over 75's is laughable. The Television Industry and Government are sleep walking into a crisis of their own making.

  • 178.
  • At 11:47 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tasar wrote:

Newsnight is the best program ever! However, StoryFIX used to come a close second. As a young viewer, I believe that our generation has been sadly neglected by BBCNews. We really want serious news in a fun way, like Newsnight's news with the style of Breakfast.

And stop rushing the news! Ideally, the news would be on every time that news happened, with a time slot equalling the magnitude and quantity of the stories. While I appreciate that this is impossible mainly due to listings and the essentiality of the set being turned on pretty much constantly, there should at least be news when there is news (and vice versa).

Seriously though, the News is ace - especially the headlines at 1520. I cannot wait until the 2000 equivalent's début!

  • 179.
  • At 11:53 AM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • T.A. Gordon wrote:

Any attempt to engage with the views and wishes of the public deserves attention, so here goes – mind you, I will have to try and retain some objectivity, despite agreeing with previous contributors that this is just an add-on fashionable agenda item to the Edinburgh Junket.

Firstly, creativity – there are some exceptionally good writers here in the UK, and a vast un-tapped resource of new talent, but where now do these people get the chance to showcase their potential? Radio seems to support playwrights better than TV – so have we lost the desire and interest to commission proper visualisations of our latest original literature? Do we really need yet another adaptation of ‘Oliver Twist’? Investing in this nation’s writing talent is a ‘must’ if we’re to stand any chance of maintaining a reputation for innovative thinking and conspicuous talent.

Then there’s the Legacy of Broadcasting – why are some of the extra channels so popular, even though all they run are repeats of old TV series? It’s because the quality of production and the variety of those series far outweighs most of what’s been produced in the last couple of years. Some of those old series had a consistency and a depth that seems to elude today’s production crews. Programmes like ‘Life On Mars’ set themselves apart from the modern trend, well crafted and an excellent example of what British television can achieve. Why else do you think it was so popular? It dared to remind us of the days when quality mattered, and not the results obtained from opinion polls and statistical analysis. Please bear in mind that what you produce to broadcast now needs to stand the test of time – do you want to be remembered for something that’s rated as a modern classic ten years from now, or ignored as yet another Trash-TV wannabe?

Reality TV shows are obviously popular to a certain section of the audience, and are a cheap option to fill broadcast schedules, but they need to be kept in order and in perspective, otherwise they de-value the entire industry. So if it’s cheap TV and therefore disposable, it should be given the appropriate level of complimentary reverence. Some recent documentaries stand out as gems, but there seems to be a creeping intrusion of either going over-the-top to establish a ‘sensational’ headline-grabbing high-impact angle (often where it would have been more appropriate to have had a more detailed scrutiny of the issue), or the worse option, the dumbing-down of the subject matter so that there is less required intelligence to understand the topic. Please do the opposite – raise the bar, look to educate and encourage the viewer to seek out and gain the knowledge, so we might enrich our lives.

Finally, there seems to be little strategic planning nowadays. Despite what was proclaimed on the BBC’s Annual Report, that more investment in drama was planned in order to match the established fact that it was so popular and successful, we now see a U-turn. Barely weeks after the Report’s publication, we see the ‘new brooms’ cancelling some of those same established and successful series outright. It’s unfortunate that these drama series have suffered over the last two seasons from quite appalling interference, but is this the right way to proceed? And with the BBC being stripped of its’ assets, who will be left to take up the challenge of producing anything of worthy substance?

  • 180.
  • At 12:27 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Greg wrote:

This 'annus horribilus' has unfortunately been a long time coming. Television has been to content for too long in resting on its laurels instead of innovating. My main gripe is with the state of new comedy commisions. BBC3 is showing so many of 1970's standards with few exceptions. Admittedly, 'The Mighty Boosh', 'Peep Show' and 'The IT Crowd' are notable in their approaches. But why are we stuck with sitcom by numbers, such as 'Grownups', 'Gavin and Stacy' and various American rejects?
ITV is excused as it prefers flogging the X-Factor for another year, but Channel 4 and BBC3 need to try harder in the coming years to prevent anyone under 30 trusting the Television for anything other than below-par rolling news and music shows.

  • 181.
  • At 12:43 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Colin South wrote:

Firstly, I regret the decline of BBC2 into a sports channel. I used to enjoy the Travels with Pevsner, One Foot in the Past and similar but they're long gone. BBC4 is a pale shadow of what BBC2 once was. Secondly, my wife enjoys the BBC1 medical drama series but notices they are prone to cancellation or retiming in deference to some other 7-day wonder whereas EastEnders is never shunted sideways, even if war broke out! Much as I don't care for Holby City or Casualty there is a loyal following who are not given a second thought by the BBC.

  • 182.
  • At 12:46 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Steven Holgate wrote:

My comments are about the news.
I think the current generation of news management have succedded in ruining the news changing it into infotainment. Please stop treating us like idiots both in delivery and in choice of news topics. Get some specialist journalists who really know what they are talking about.

Review your policy of having a reporter outside the Mod or Defra when its a defence or agriculture story. It's a sham and we know it. What is the carbon footprint of this unnecessary travel.

Review you coverage of global warming. The BBC has become far too partisan and doesn't present the whole picture just the picture it "thinks" is politically correct.

Which leads me to science reporting on the news. As a scientists I tell you its shameful, in quality and quantity. When I was a student in the 90's I listened to radio 4 and thought what a lot of science there was in the news, but no more. There must have been a policy decision to downgrade science. If there wasn't then get some better science reporters.

Lets have less of - what do you think about this story all the blooming time - please lets have less of asking us and more professional journalism on your part.

Is it just me or is there too much fluff on Breakfast News?

Do you really have to be in your 20's to be a reporter? Come on BBC tell us the age range of your reporters? How many are in their 50's and how many of those in their 40's were hired recently?

  • 183.
  • At 01:25 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Chris Lewis wrote:

Too much reality tv. Period. Please stop. Thank you.

  • 184.
  • At 01:38 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tonton wrote:


Simple. Get rid of BBC3 and BBC4. Shove the extra money into quality programming on 1 and 2. There hasn't been a single programme of note on BBC3 for about 2 years. BBC4 hasn't enough money to *be* anything.

Stop chasing ratings. Stop caring about ratings, you arent in the business of making money so why bother. This insults us who pay the licence fee and the rating system is flawed anyway.

Sack middle managers and give the time and money to the creative sector.

Stop hiring people like Danny Cohen and his 'ilk'. Their day has gone now...

Stop bothering with focus groups and demographics. They lie and create dreadful television.

Stop trying to be a world media player. You don't need to be and the public don't want you to be.

Stop bothering so much with this whole youtube/online player lark. One of the main reasons people like the BBC is the fact that it's reliable. If I turn it on at 9pm, there should be something worth watching every day.

Shove Lenny Henry in Eastenders. He would like that, so would we.

"Nowadays TV is made by people who have degrees who in turn make programmes that they think people without degrees want to watch" -
Armando Ianucci.

  • 185.
  • At 01:39 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Phil Dack wrote:

I agree with all of the comments from Lucy, 0209pm. However, one of my biggest annoyances with TV is the persistant refusal to take responsibility for their output. There is no question that TV has a huge impact in the opinions that people ultimately take, and yet TV aparatchiks constantly argue that all they are doing is reflecting the preferences and opinions of their viewers and use that specious argument to justify low quality programming. TV has the power to inspire and elevate, and yet we have sensationalist programming that seeks to shock and titillate since those are a more reliable way of getting viewing figures.

Indeed, an industry that judges success by viewing figures alone is inevitably doomed to dumbing down. No-one has ever claimed that the News of the World is the "best" newspaper, despite having the highest distribution. Yet in TV-world, viewing figures can cover a multitude of sins (Thin Blue Line, anyone?).

And, for a final BBC-specific rant, how can you justify adding BBC3, BBC4 and News 24, when core terrestrial stations are still showing "amusing" repeats of Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances? There simply isn't enough quality programming to fill all these BBC channels, so don't try. Contrary to what another poster has said, I'd much prefer funds were spent on +1 Channels that better allow me to manage my TV viewing, have doubtless resulted in me watching more TV (viewing figures = good surely!) and don't require me to waste money on TV recording technology that I neither want nor need.

  • 186.
  • At 01:42 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

I agree with nearly every comment. My main objection, when I boil the many down, is the 'marginalisation' of programmes such as arts etc. As the set-top box won't work in the area in which I live I feel I have been 'forced' to buy satellite packages etc. just to watch what I WANT to watch not what the BBC THINKS I want to watch on terrestrial TV. And don't try suggesting you repeat BBC4 on BBC2. 11.20 is FAR too late to put it on - some of us work and need sleep.
PS. We even bought our 90-year-old Nan a dish as she thinks ALL terrestrial stations are dire. You see, not everyone wants reality, refurbishment, retraining or soap.

  • 187.
  • At 01:53 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Obi-Wan wrote:

So much has gone wrong with British TV in the last decade or so. Is this to do with the culture at the broadcasters? Weren’t all the creative thinkers and executives replaced with accountants in the 1990s? If this is still the case then it’s not surprising that TV has lost its soul – what do accountants know about making good TV?

It’s all about profit margins and safe TV than about the creation of new and innovative programming. If you want to capture the imagination of a new generation – who have a whole assortment of mediums to grab their attention away from television – then you need to start thinking with your creative heads not your wallets. Please, more Life on Mars, less phone-in quiz shows – be bold, be original, be proud of what you do.

British TV is in your hands, you’re our only hope!

  • 188.
  • At 01:56 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Helen Gerrard wrote:

Please stop using identikit presenters with the same "bubbly" personality and zero knowledge of the area they're discussing.

I'd much rather watch a passionate expert no matter what the subject - even if they do have dodgy teeth.

Eye candy is well and good, but please can we have content too.

  • 189.
  • At 01:58 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

Formats, formats, formats...

Factual TV is just a great format factory, churning out mass produced, bland programmes that try to appeal to as many people as possible. But like factory produced goods, they're cheap, over packaged, unsatisfying and usually disappointing.

We want more surprising single docs, one-offs - shows with passion and knowledge not just trendy presenters.

  • 190.
  • At 02:03 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Rebecca wrote:

There are things the BBC does well - bringing through new comedy talent for one, giving people their start on Radio 4 and then bringing across the very best to BBC3 and eventually BBC1 and 2. You can always tell when listening to a really superb new comedy show that in a few years you’ll be watching it instead.

There are also things it does badly. Flagship primetime shows such as Life on Mars should be given the budgets they need to be all they can be, not reigned in so that the extra cash can be spent elsewhere on fluffy daytime nonsense or celebrity cooking school. It is not irresponsible to spend a large chunk of licence payers’ money on one show if it is popular, critically acclaimed and a source of pride to millions who eye HBO’s output with envy. Double Doctor Who’s budget - I dare you - and see just how great it can be.

Learn the difference between valuable and frivolous reality tv. Both really do exist but the frivolous does a disservice to the really good stuff that’s out there by making it appear pointless. The best example is Spendaholics - at first glance it appears just as stupid as How Not to Eat When Decorating Your Room, but on watching it, I was surprised at how much genuinely interesting psychology was involved, not to mention budgeting advice that millions could benefit from. I had been put off as it resembled all the hours of junk that surrounded it.

And oh yes - please use your musical output, across both tv and radio, to promote good music rather than the music dictated to you by record companies. A rule of thumb should be “is this business or art?” as the BBC is not supposed to promote purely commercial enterprises. Westlife are business - Tom Baxter is art - if you can’t tell the difference then you shouldn’t be working in the media.

Show some respect for programme makers - stop telling me what's on next before the programme I'm still watching has finished, and then shrinking the credits to an unreadable size whilst telling me again about what's coming up.

Stop putting ever more invasive graffiti all over the screen - I'm trying to watch your programmes and don't actually care that much about how colourful and jazzy your DOG is, or the fact that this weekend is a "Morse Weekend."

Address the training shortfall. With the BBC shrinking, we're left with media studies students wandering around with cameras a touch better than a home videocamera recording footage without caring about getting their white balances correct or worrying about whether the sound's audible.

Step away from the overnights - big numbers are not the only criteria a programme should be judged by. Do not cancel a series or banish it into the wee hours if episode one under-performs. If you carry on doing this, I'll never bother even trying to watch your programmes again. If you're not going to invest your time in them, I'm not going to bother either.

Combat internet downloads by airing shows as close as possible to US release dates.

Stop paying silly money for US imports that are never going to be *that* successful, then leaving yourself high and dry with two of them when Sky One outbids you for season two.

Stop stealing shows from one another's channels. Remember the outcry about Thames when it "stole" Dallas? It's a free market, but how about building your own shows.

Don't behave like a petulant four year old when negotiating which channels your competitor's cable service can carry.

Just because BBC Four exists (for now), that doesn't mean that BBC Two has to "dumb down" - step forward British Film Forever. This could have been a wonderful series, but is spoilt by a demeaning narration and spurious interviewees. The whole series is pitched at a level somewhere around the average Channel 4 list programme. Wasn't it nice to see an episode of Civilisation over Stephen Fry weekend?

Prevent the seemingly likely severe cut backs in the budgets of such wonderful fare as Storyville, Timewatch, Horizon and other factual programming.

Let's do something to combat the diminution of science on television. Guess what? Science is actually really really important.

Stop public service channels featuring a single reality show across upwards of a third of a year. Channel 4, you do realise that I avoid your channel during the whole of this period don't you?

Explain exactly why BBC Three costs twice as much as BBC Four. Isn't there enough television for 15-34s?

  • 192.
  • At 02:10 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Mark Evans wrote:

Why is BBC television overnight such a mess? Or arent people supposed to be watching? There is nothing definitive about BBC1 or BBC2's overnight offerings. It's either News 24 on one channel then that switches to the other after two episodes of Star Trek and then we get the 32 year old BBC standard filler Pages from Ceefax and music sounding equally as old. Is there no policy of BBC overnight programming for those of us that have to watch in the small hours. Is BBC television supposed to be a 24 hour entertainment medium or not.. it certainly doesn't seem to be one thing or the other at the moment.

  • 193.
  • At 02:10 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Antony Gordon wrote:

There's a lot to agree with in comments above but I'll not repeat then ad nauseam. My fresh (I think) comment concerns the ever present background music in almost every programme. This reaches a peak of irritation in Countryfile and wildlife programming where surely the background sounds are just as important as the images -- we really don't need somebody's idea of jokey, soulful or ethnic music -- when did we last see a shot of Irish or Scottish scenery without a sub-Chieftains soundtrack? How about just trying to do without music on Countryfile for a month say, then ask the viewers whether they prefer that? I'd like to suggest that all of those who are maniacally obsessed with adding music to everything should be sat in front of a couple of Ingmar Bergman's films to find out how infrequently music needs to be added and that restrained use can have an effect much more profound than mere wallpaper.

Too much TV!

The current, deplorable state of the UK television industry can be put down to one initiative - digital!

Not the technology, but the way it has been embraced by the TV industry.

I sat looking at the listings the other day of what was available on Freeview. And it struck me that, once imports were removed, about the same number of original programmes are being made for BBC1, 2, 3, and 4 as used to be made for just BBC 1 and 2.

Likewise, Channel 4 seems not to make any additional new programming, they just fill up their 3 channels (excluding film 4) with exactly the same amount of content, plus 3 times the coverage from Big Brother.

How is this trick done?


If a programme is produced, say, for BBC4, it is then repeated on 4 later the same night, then it is repeated later in the week, then the series plays out on BBC2, and then repeats from the BBC2 presentation are shown again on BBC4. If the programme does very well, it may even be shown on BBC1 later in the year. And then, those repeats will be repeated for "viewers benefit" on BBC4 later that week, also. I cannot speak for BBC3, after all that I haven't time to watch it! And don't worry if you miss any of the 6 or so repeats, UK History will show them next year.

The four Terrestrial companies, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, are all doing more or less the same trick. But in doing so, they have upped the running costs of their companies so much, that they have little else to put into productions.

The BBC was once seen as the best TV Channel in the world - with ITV also well regarded, despite the adverts.

The Reasons? We had less channels, the resources had little place to go except on producing TV programmes.

From the BBC's point of view, and from the point of view of the public who fund it, do we really NEED BBC 3 and 4? If you removed all the instant repeats, how much extra broadcast time would you honestly need?

  • 195.
  • At 02:26 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Gerry wrote:

In the morning BBC One shows a programme that is emphatically not a news programme. This wouldn't bother me if they didn't also lock News 24 into showing it. I just want to watch a straight forward news bulletin not two presenters making bad jokes.

Additionally I fail to understand a 24hour news programme which endlessly cycles through just 15 mins of news. No wonder they get so excited when even the least newsworthy story breaks. Regularly scheduled in depth features from around the world, of the sort often shown by BBC News 24 on Sunday afternoons would make a far more interesting, insightful channel.

  • 196.
  • At 02:40 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Whilst many in TV are aware that events like the festival are somewhat self-indulgent and navel-gazing, the current 'furore' over untrustworthy broadcasting is blown out of all proportion. Whilst there is some merit in the criticism of unfair premium rate phone-in competitions (as they directly take money from callers who have no chance of winning) the idea that suddenly the public is horrified that factual television can bend the facts to suit a story, a marketing target, or a general hypothesis is completely exaggerated. Naturally it suits the likes of the Daily Mail and the News Corp. media to berate the BBC and certain commercial broadcasters, but the public as a whole don't care that much. This is a prime example of those working in the media caring far more about themselves and what other areas of the media think.

  • 197.
  • At 02:41 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • c w wrote:

The standards and quality of BBC programmes are rubbish(generally) Each year, BBC television gets worse.

  • 198.
  • At 02:41 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • David Weir wrote:

I would like to remind the television industry that there is still a sizeable fraction of the 16-24 age demographic that wants to watch interesting documentaries fronted by people who have a passion for their subject (Journeys to the Centre of the Earth, A History of Britain...), see politicians sweating on Newsnight and tune in for big-name conductors waving their batons in world premieres at the Proms.

We are not the vapid, sex-crazed, superficial market segment that media analysts frequently depict. We deserve far better...

... or at least a facility on the BBC iPlayer to watch every Horizon episode ever made prior to 2004 (when production standards went out the window with the "Grey Goo" episode).

Of course, for the time being the iPlayer is another white elephant, but let's hope the BBC's partners ditch their attraction to unworkable Digital Restrictions Management.

  • 199.
  • At 02:50 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Personally, I feel the biggest problem in television is the incredible lack of originality and the reliance on formats and celebrities. Currently we have a spate of programmes about Britain's countryside and heritage which, rather than being a useful, intelligent study, simply puts a 'celebrity' on camera to talk about what the viewer can see. In its place, this isn't so bad, but when there is over six hours a week on terrestrial television alone dedicated to it, it becomes irritating, repetitive and diluted. The same applies to so-called documentaries which rely on nothing more than some archive footage and some talking-heads basically describing what we've just seen (see the current Summer of British Film season).

Beyond factual programming, there is an overall lack of innovation and risk (something others here have commented on). I'm aware that this is a perpetual topic for debate and that all broadcasters can run out a list of new programming over the last 18 months to counter-act it, but in truth there is very little new programming made by new producers, writers and actors/presenters, and what exists is often very poor (see almost anything on BBC3 or E4). So much programming seems to be commissioned by focus group with desperate consideration for marketing, on-line and ‘interactivity’ opportunities, DVD and international sales, target demographics and minimising risk. The BBC and Channel 4 are both guilty of this despite being public funded in order to develop such programming.

A previous poster mentioned the lack of strategic planning. Sadly, this is not exclusive to television, or the media, but it is fundamental. If there is a layer of management emphasising deadlines, expenditure and ratings over creativity and integrity, clearly that is where things must change first. The trouble is no one wants to be the person people are pointing fingers at when something fails. Well, that's life and it's what producers and commissioners are paid for: to take those risks.

Peter - do you have time to prepare a slide to show at Edinburgh of all the truly dire programming all the main broadcasters have produced this year; programmes that were clearly badly conceived and produced from the off, in order to shame those in the audience that would waste time, money and talent on such things? Or will you just sympathise with your colleagues about how hard it all is and how the public don't understand the pressures you're all under?

Finally, and slightly contradictory, I'd like to see the BBC (for all its faults) stand up more against its critics within politics and the media. It seems too afraid of what might happen to the license fee to ever come out fighting. Conversely it sees fit to spend millions on vacuous bits of marketing and management giving its critics an open goal. If the license fee was invested in new, creative programming instead of safe, derivative output which commercial broadcasters should be doing (particularly ITV) then its critics would have less ammunition.

  • 200.
  • At 02:57 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Mal Franks wrote:

More comedy and drama, less "reality" shows and soap.

Do we really need "Eastenders" on 4 out 5 weekday evenings??

To slightly contradict myself, there was one reality show I was looking forward to and that was the 2nd series of "Castaway".

I like Danny Wallace and am quite fond of "School's Out", however the premise of the original "Castaway" had been completely ditched in favour of a Big Brother/Survivor style show. Was very disappointed.

News-wise, I also find the advertising of other BBC shows dressed up as news to be irritating. The dumbing down of flagship shows like "Panorama" and "Horizon" irks me somewhat too.

Definitely would like to see more HD content especially for shows like "Doctor Who" whose budget doesn't allow for this despite it being one of BBC's top programmes. Instead well past its watch by date tripe like "Last Of The Summer Wine" is filmed in HD!

I believe it is easy to sum up the problem with BBC TV output. I only have to name a few of the offending broadcasts.

For a start, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. Why? I realise you have to appeal to a wide audience, but who watches that? Then there is the apparent spin off, Grown Ups. I've been unlucky enough to see the trailers for it and it is more than enough to compel me to switch over or turn off. Again, just hearing the Junior Senior song from a TV in another room makes my stomach turn since the endless schedule filler DanceX appeared.

It would be unfair to criticise with a broad-brush, Paxman on Newsnight is always a highlight as is HIGNFY. At least you're doing better than ITV, films seem to be the only thing they can offer me.

Numerous comments have already alluded to the lack of good comedy. Commission Baby Cow to do more, but don't pander to Coogan too much. The last truly good sketch show I can remember seeing was Big Train (talkbackThames); unbeatable cast and superb writing. Woo Chris Morris back, The Day Today was amazing, though the IT Crowd is questionable in my opinion. Adam Buxton & Joe Cornish are also shamefully underused resources. Give Buxton any assistance he needs for his pilot Meebox and any other ideas he has. His work on Time Trumpet, another fine piece of television was outstanding. Better still, give me a writing job!

At a time when Channel 4 is your only real competition for remotely good comedy and high brow programming you should be looking at reproducing the success of the Foxtons exposé on Whistleblower. I realise this has been very BBC-centric, but it is the corporation I have the most faith in, and as I pay for it I am more aggrieved when they let me down.

Don't constantly try to appeal to the lowest common denominator, challenge us.

  • 202.
  • At 04:01 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Daniel wrote:

As much as there is wrong with telly at the moment, there are an awful lot of talented people working in the industry who should be defended.

I'm thinking about all those people whose names are in the end credits that get shrunken down to the corner of the screen, just so you can be told that (shock horror!) there's another programme coming up next.

Do the channels not have some kind of obligation to credit these people? I can only assume that the people who came up with this horrible new technique are paid enough to own extraordinarily large TVs on which the text is legible.

The credits sequence is an important part of the rhythm of many TV shows - a brief respite from the drama or comedy that has preceded it. Sometimes they don't even cut to black or pause, they just cut directly to the advert. Watching a recent episode of ER, I was struck by how the finale of the show incorporated a pair of characters at an anti-war march-gone-wrong AND Gordon Ramsey preparing some chicken. Very avant garde...

  • 203.
  • At 04:02 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Mr David Almond wrote:

In spite of the increase in choice from the number of different viewing platforms the basic ability to entertain and inform seems to have disappeared from our screen.

We no longer have drama that is able to tell a gripping story or give us a new perspective on an old classic.

Everything needs to be "edgy" or contain a famous face.
Even the basic ability to present news in a straightforward honest fashion has been lost. We do not need people standing in front of empty buildings "waiting developments". This morning a reporter was standing in front of a bin to show us how the new weighting of waste work !!!!

Television has become so facile that if it doesn't follow a formula or have "interaction" with the public it doesn't merit a front row slot.
The BBC has become too remote from its audience - moving programs without notice, canceling programs or over-promoting programs (which is the worst of all habits). I don't want to be told 15 times about an interesting program. And why do adverts appear just before a program ? This is more likely to get someone to turn off than anything else.
The BBC needs to take a long hard look at itself and what it wants to be in the future. It is losing the trust and support of the viewing public and worse losing a clear vision of the type of broadcasting it is good at. Even its wonderful nature programs are turning into musicals or celebrity fests. Its time to take stock before people begin to move on.

  • 204.
  • At 04:28 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Georgina wrote:

I agree with a lot of the comments on here regarding the profusion of crap on tv. The BBC makes a show, so ITV immediately steals the format. Meanwhile channel 4 puts all of its good shows onto freeview which means I can only watch the good stuff when the reception is ok. (Not very often). I'm sick to death of 'celebrity' shows involving non-entities and soap stars learning how to cook/dance/speak/sew a button on. They waste time and money in the schedules. The news on all channels except Channel 4 has now become 'The Day Today' - bet Chris Morris is relishing the irony. HOWEVER, there are still some very good, informative, funny and interesting shows on terrestial TV. I lived in Spain for a year, and believe me, if you think it's bad here, try going anywhere in Europe - the tv is AWFUL, though marginally better than that in America. I'm not saying that we should have to put up with lower standards just because we still batter other nations in the TV stakes - trust me, that's not saying much. However, I'm aware that in America there is an advert break an average of every 7 minutes, and in Spain the breaks reach up to 25 minutes long. Seriously. Makes you appreciate what we have got left.

  • 205.
  • At 04:37 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • newshound wrote:

What has happened to ITV news? The 6.30 bulletin is a patronising half hour of faux tabloid by-lines - even to illustrate the most serious of news. Viewers have to endure cliched, allitertive subtitles introducing each item - so a piece on bad weather or the environment is invariably 'Climate Chaos' or 'Burning Britain'. In case we hadn't got the point, stories are introduced with such gems as 'The Eye of the Storm', 'A Mother's tears' or 'Missing Maddy'. Think of the best title a 5 year old might give their short story and you're somewhere short of the ITV News Headlines and introductions from what one hopes are embarrassed reporters and anchors.

To make matters worse, they now include a 'Daily Debate' with contributions from 'Citizen Correspondents'.

Watch the 6.30 news - you'll soon see what I mean. Dumb and Dumber.

At least Channel 4 news does the same thing with style, humour and intelligence all of which seems to evade the patronising pygmies on the ITV evening news.

  • 206.
  • At 04:46 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Connolly wrote:

No content and no conscience... aka Beavis entertaining Butthead.

  • 207.
  • At 05:00 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Shama N'Khago wrote:

There are so many channels and so many shows that are identical - Why not give independant companies like Chrome Productions, Opiate Films and Dead Duck money to make movies - their shorts, features and docs are great.

Why not scan youtube for talent, or commission BBC comedysoup people to make real shows - It doesn't have to cost a bomb... just bring in new peopel to bring back good, innovative television!

  • 208.
  • At 05:22 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Nicola wrote:

What upsets me most about channels these days is the lack of support for new writers and new artists. It is so difficult to get new material seen these days and if anything new does get made it is rarely given time to develop. Things either have to be an over night success or are binned. Money is wasted on reality shows or shows that are poorly written (8 Million on Robin Hood??!!!) and new writers are overlooked without a second thought because no-one is brave enough to give them a chance.

Plenty of great comedies, drams and films have been made on low budgets but have stood out because of the talent involved in it. That talent might not have been found yet but it cant be found if no-one will be willing to try!

1. I'd like you to recreate the exciting pioneering feeling of the early days of Channel Four :-)

2. Less reality TV.

3. More than one free HD TV channel. BBC HD is great but I want more (non pay).

4. FreeSat, great idea, I live in a marginal signal strength area for Freeview, so I would much prefer a full FreeSat service.

5. TV reporting, like an early poster said, I don't want to see news reports of nothing happening, however authoritative the correspondent.

6. iPlayer - of marginal use at the moment what I want is to see the thousands of hours of tv programming that the BBC has in its archives available for free online. I paid for it, my parents paid for it and it belongs to the nation. I don't want to have to buy it on DVD either. I've paid for it already :-)

7. Pay TV - Change the regulations, either they charge for the programming or they pay for programming by advertising, but not both.

  • 210.
  • At 05:59 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Lucy Smith wrote:

I hope you're getting the message loud and clear! So many people really care about the TV they watch and we all seem to be saying much the same thing, so it's got to be worth a punt to take heed and do what we're asking. At least give it a shot. Here are my particular beefs.

1. Please cut all the pop songs played in the background of features on factual programmes (Top Gear and Holiday being regular culprits) - a dozen or so in the course of a half hour show is far from unusual and it's vexing to listen to. Trust your audience to absorb the content without having Kaiser Chiefs segueing into the White Stripes after 8 seconds.

2. Please please get some decent scientists to present decent scientific shows. I don't mean let's just get Robert Winston to present everything - he's a geneticist, he's not a physicist, biologist, mathematician, paediatrician, or psychologist. So only get him to present relevant programmes and get some other experts in (and I don't mean Titchmarsh). Colin Blakemore used to be an excellent presenter on psychology, for example.

3. Lose the derivative programming. Just because ITV do it, you really don't have to too. As everyone else has said, the celebrities learning a new skill is just tedious and plumbing ever more desperate depths in the definition of what constitutes a 'celebrity'.

4. Get some perspective between what is 'in the public interest' and 'what the public finds interesting'. Paris Hilton is squarely in one camp and not in the other. Madeleine McCann is also in that same camp, IMHO. It's a shocking story, but you crossed some very dangerous lines in your reporting just prompted by the fact that you can tell which stories on your website generate the most clicks and felt you had to feed the insatiable rubbernecking by the general public.

5. A plea more to ITV than the BBC - please rely on some other actors apart from: Caroline Quentin, Stephen Tompkinson, Sarah Lancashire, Martin Clunes, Robson Green. I will quite literally never watch anything they are in because their programmes are lazy star vehicles that are written by numbers.

6. In general, I would say the only things I have watched on BBC1 in the last month are Mountain, the 10 o'clock news and Breakfast. Otherwise I simply don't have the least interest in anything you transmit. I don't think there's a single thing on ITV1 I'll watch.

7. For all our sakes, please stop doing National IQ Tests or Great British Tests of any kind. Pitting social workers against trapeze artists and local councillors to answer a load of questions all based on the contents of the NOTW celebrity gossip pages does not constitute either a reasonable test of national intelligence or an evening of entertainment (and it really does go on ALL evening). I see we're about to have another one on Monday, with all the enforced jollity that comes with booing estate agents/tax collectors etc and cheering nurses/charity workers - talk about puerile pantomime.

8. Please never ever let Andrew Marr, John Simpson, Frank Gardner, Jeremy Bowen, James Naughtie and their like leave or retire. If they went, goodness knows what would happen to the quality of your political commentary.

9. Bring back isobars and trust your audience to understand more technical weather forecasts! If they don't understand them at the start, hearing the terms used and explained may help them learn. I gather that sometimes learning can be good for us.

You do have a chance to restore some credibility in the Beeb. Be bold, take the chance and reap the rewards. If the morons defect to ITV, what have you lost really?

  • 211.
  • At 06:07 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • smallnumbers wrote:

US drama from P2P. Sports streamed from China or watched in the pub. Old shows and movies from link sites. Radio and news over the internet. Seven series of The West Wing on DVD. Hard drive full of movies. Hard drive and two MP3 players full of music. Cinema, comedy clubs, festivals, gigs, art galleries, friends, the odd book, and a good imagination.

TV good for entertaining oldies on Christmas day, events of great significance like the moon landings, and whatever Top Gear are up to this week...

  • 212.
  • At 06:08 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Geza Hoffmann wrote:

These so called "REALITY SHOWS", are programs for yuonger audiance, who have no imagination. I for one hate them and think they are a wast of money and air time. Also who in reality would do these things if they were not paid directly, or for charity, do these things.
NO ONE !!!!!.

  • 213.
  • At 06:10 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Maddy Knibb wrote:

Honesty seems an essential to me. Audiences don't need deception to enjoy a programme, do they?
A very basic example: the invisible camera crew - why not acknowledge them instead of the 'alone on the mountain/in an interview'conceit? I've seen Tony Robinson include them and it enhances the experience.
I could go on!

  • 214.
  • At 06:13 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Dave Lloyd wrote:

Its time to ration captions and channel identifyers!

Before Sky came along the consensus was to only show graphics on sport and news when only absolutely necessary, and to assume the viewer has some understanding of what they are watching.

Now what do we see? graphics over all BBC digital channels (hammering home the station name) already known to the viewer

Graphics over newscasts... And now live to Downing Street says the newscaster..Why must a caption be shown (hammering home the facts) already known to the viewer

Permenant Graphics over sport (hammering home the scores/team colours) already known to the viewer.

You would think your viewers all have low IQ's and memories of goldfish.

Please see the big picture again and cover these events the way they were intended...and not for Sun readers!

  • 215.
  • At 06:15 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Ian Roberts wrote:

You know you are in trouble when Newsround gives better coverage of the news than your "highbrow" new programmes.

Seriously, Newsround is the only news worth watching on the BBC, it has less dumbing-down than the 6 O'Clock news and gets most of the story across in less time/waffle/sensationalism.

  • 216.
  • At 06:57 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • David wrote:

Programme schedulers:

Start programmes on time.
Stop pop-up ads telling us what's on next in the middle of programmes.
Stop shrinking credits.
Stop telling us what's on next during credits, then showing us a trailer for it when it follows immediately.
Stop the general sense of clutter there is on ITV from too many of the above.
Give BBC2 a purpose or we'll start calling it the Cookery Channel.

Programme makers:

Bring back single drama strands like Play for Today.
Make fewer unbelievable "psychological dramas".
Cancel Horizon if you can no longer be bothered to make it a serious science programme.
Make more sitcoms (even ITV can make a good one if it tries often enough).
Refuse to make another hospital or police series for the next five years.
Surprise us.

  • 217.
  • At 07:04 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • C Crisp wrote:

'Keep it light' seems to be the mantra of the day for the majority TV output including tragically the BBC news. As a woman I find it insulting to be talked to by a bimbo who uses the same intonation of voice to inform us of fluffy kittens or mass murder.
If we are to believe these people are chosen because of their journalistic skill then why oh why did we hear when questioning an eye witness to a blazing inferno...'IS IT HOT? ' oh God save us all from this sort of drivel and thank God for Newsnight. Its not my increasing age even my 21 year old son has given up the news in favour of Kirsty Wark and Jeremy Paxman

  • 218.
  • At 07:24 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Evonne O wrote:

Please stop showing repeats as I don't like them and also please make decent comedy shows and please put them on BBC1 or 2 not just on BBC3!

  • 219.
  • At 08:02 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Sophie wrote:

i like the +1 channels that everyone is saying are a waste of time.
if you use you common sense and you have seen a programme it at the original time you wont turn to the same +1 channels will you!!

but truthfully all telly is crap these days and if your lucky you might catch the odd episode of a soap or a documentary which may be worth watching but these days with however many channels are on sky there is never anything good to watch.

  • 220.
  • At 08:10 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Sophie Vandeleur wrote:

In the 1960s and 1970s television felt an obligation to the arts. They featured in a central way in the schedules even if hurt ratings. Now it seems that there are arts programmes that don't get made, simply because schedulers and controllers are not interested. Even BBC Four with its 'vertical scheduling', which is surely not designed for the normal viewer, isn't making a difference.

And you have the best dance film-maker in Britain, Ross MacGibbon leaving the BBC because, in his words, "in the current climate it has become increasingly hard to get the kind of films that interest me commissioned, so rather than grow older and grumpier here, I'm moving on."

First the first time, the BBC will be without a dance producer and I suspect it doesn't care. It's symptomatic of what's happening to arts programming in general. It has to be arts-lite to be commissioned.

  • 221.
  • At 08:19 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Rachel wrote:

First off I agree with just about everything that's already been said regarding what's wrong with TV today.

Secondly I find the "grass is greener" outlook very interesting because the US citizens are desperately trying to get our companies to import UK stations & programmes (because ours is horrible) while at the same time the UK citizens are trying to get US shows, channels & movies because they don't like there own.

  • 222.
  • At 08:55 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Twinky wrote:


With reference to Cable TV only (Land based, not Air Waves) I'm generally impressed with the choice and quality on offer, especially sport. I love looking at quality programs from yester-year and like the menu system. Unfortunately though, I'm not a big fan of 24/7 TV so it's off at 11pm like good old BBC told us! Also, the 'adult' options should not be in the menu at all as pay per view as this ruins it! Also, live TV is still really difficult to master. It needs so many people to guarantee a good program. Like Wimbledon as a live event it allows the viewer to see right in to the court action. Lots of care is needed. I guess most TV is best if it's been through the production/editing stage so that the final show is a good program. I like BBC standards but now the choice is more open it should be flexible for the viewer and also restricted so we are not a 'couch-potato' (80's term) or a 24/7 viewer (90's term). This being so I'd say 2 hours a day or 10 hours a week maximum with variety like sport, music and a weekly film as a treat. Finally, for those working with screens alot, a regular half hourly break from the screen and regular contact with other people, if only a 2 minute chat at the shops.

Hope that's OK as I do love this medium but it should be used wisely!

  • 223.
  • At 09:09 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Chris White wrote:

Just stop the dumbing down and respect the intelligence of the audience. There is no need for programmes to be ruined by DOGs, 'Next' banners, credit squeezes, voiceovers and the like. Has it not dawned on those in the industry that it is these annoying devices that MAKE people switch over (or turn off) instead of dissuading them?

Having trialled the BBC's iPlayer, while I find it a good concept, I discovered that watching any television while being sat at the PC is just not enjoyable.

On demand, on the telly, in the lounge, no ads and no in-programme promotions would seem to be the way to go. In short, just like watching a DVD. Or is this their way of selling more DVDs: by making the broadcast viewing experience so infuriating that if you want to watch a programme properly you have to go out and buy the series boxset?

It's simple, stop talking to the self appointed 'elite' that think things like how wonderful Cuba's healthcare is but ignore that it's a dictatorship, or that it was a bad year for Merlot because George Bush is polluting the world.

Until you start get back into phase with the general public it won't just be a horrible year, it could be a horrible decade.

  • 225.
  • At 09:26 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Sarmad wrote:

I am very happy to see so many people making the right point about the stupidity of contemporary television programmes. I am 30 and have a nostalgia for programmes I watched in the early 90s: lengthy documentaries about postmodernism which were debated in school the following day. Now, in order to view something in the late evening, it is necessary to view box-sets of DVDs. I don't even check what is being shown.

The television seems designed as an agent of government with which to stupefy the audience and prevent any form of social change. Why is it unthinkable that a teenager character in a soap opera could develop a passion for science, or music?

And now we come to the biggest problem. When I was very young, perhaps 11, I turned on the set and saw the final few moments of an almost terrifying musical experience. It stuck with me for two decades before I found out it was a televised broadcast of orchestral music by Ligeti conducted by Boulez. There is now NO music on television. A few proms, perhaps, a new year's concert, perhaps. But can you switch on and hope to see a recital by Artur Pizarro?

There are two strong means to measure the spiritual/intellectual evolution of a state: the number of vegetarians; and the status accorded to music.

  • 226.
  • At 09:31 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tony Goodbody wrote:

Agreeing with virtually all the comments above makes me think that the majority of people who respond to Newsnight's pleas for comments are a ignored by the programme makers because the general theme of the posts is always the same. Don't dumb down, don't patronise, don't fill airtime with mindless images (like showing a tap whenever mentioning an issue with the water companies), concentrate on substance over style etc. Why is this sector of the population ignored? Is it because the majority of them are (probably) 40+ and more likely 50+ and the majority of media production people are in the 20 - 30ish age range?

And why is there this fascination with aiming everything at the 15 - 34 age group? They have little purchasing power compared with the 50+s, little real general knowledge so more demanding programmes don't appeal and are a much smaller demographic group. It can only be because of their perceived trendiness vs old codger; young and beautiful vs maturity.

Save our licence money by using 1 authoriative news presenter, save on satellite time by sending in a well thought out report rather than switching live to reporters out there who can't add anything in the 30 minutes since their last appearance, introduce more actors we haven't seen before instead of recycling the same crowd all the time because they are well known (the Robson Greens and Amanda Burtons). One of the really great things about the 2 Rome series was that virtually all of the actors were not instantly recognisable.

  • 227.
  • At 03:00 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • M.Lin wrote:

The BBC matters.

It's unfortunate that in many ways it lost its way for a while - a rather long while. Yes, I do think this happened. It was like witnessing collective bingeing.

One could attribute factors to a 'zeitgeist' and many other collective confusions. But these are essentially excuses, not reasons.

I value the BBC at its best. If all the people working there had any idea what it is like NOT to have the privilege of access to it at its best, they might share my gratitude.

May I suggest that you each think of your own ways to understand your power, your privilege - and, by extension, your responsibility.

Human intelligence (as the BBC itself has noted only tonight on Newsnight) may take many forms. My 'hot tip' to you all is:

Don't be duped. Your viewers should not easily be written off as stupid - though we all do and say stupid things at times. Most, individually, have their own lives and those of their loved-ones to consider and fight for - all over the world.

With thanks.

  • 228.
  • At 04:11 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Discouraged wrote:

I've used to enjoy watching TV. I like shows like "Numbers", "Men in Trees","Desperate Housewives", "Dr. Phil", and "Northern Exposure."
There are:
Too many cop shows
Too much violence
Too many lawyer shows
Too many reality shows
Too many long commercials.
I want TV that is entertaining, clever, interesting and different.
What I find is that when a TV show
is any of the above, it doesn't last
a season or two(maybe).
I've limited my TV watching, and rent
a lot of movies from Blockbuster instead. It's more enjoyable.

  • 229.
  • At 06:38 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Stephen Derry wrote:

There's nothing wrong with TV today. Quality seems to be a finite resource - there are lots of good programmes, for all tastes, it is just that they are now spread over some 200 channels instead of three or four.

Obviously there is a lot more rubbish on television too, to fill this exponential increase in output hours, but if you don't like it, don't watch it. If you can't find something you like on 200 channels, with TiVO and TV on Demand extending your choice to weeks and months of content... maybe you're not really a TV person!

  • 230.
  • At 07:37 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Althea Stevens wrote:

What's wrong with TV now?
Too many utterly banal shows, starting with so called 'reality' rubbish - unreal situations with peculiar people who would never meet and live together - where's the reality?
Not enough good quality theatre or dance -there is a wealth of talent in this country, much inaccessible because of high priced tickets. TV could really score here.
Awful news coverage - over dramatic, too many talking heads, too much rehash. Frequently looks as though the readers are advertising the news as though it was a product to sell. Much too much like USA news, which is dreadful.
And by the way, I stopped watching TV on a regular basis about five years ago, so only see forgettable snippets now, on other people's TVs and in shops. Can't be bothered to waste my time when I can listen to excellent radio and read instead. Sure, I miss good nature programs, but it's too much trouble to find them.

  • 231.
  • At 08:06 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • M smith wrote:

After reading all the comments
i need to ask

is the industry actual going
to take note and i mean a lot of notes
and DO SOMETHING which the
view public YOUR CUSTOMERS are
shouting at you do to or are
you going to sit in you towers with your
back to the world not listening to a
word and just churn out more crap TV

and this is to channel 4
Big Brother = Big crap
stop paying for this and use the money
in better ways


  • 232.
  • At 09:15 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • gareth price wrote:

You come to the end of an enjoyable program, whether it be a documentary, film or light entertainment and the opportunity to reflect on what you have seen, and learn who made this, for a few mins whilst the credits roll are TOTALLY ruined by the voiceover (and more often now split screen)telling you about what is coming up next, tomorrow or even in the next blasted week!

  • 233.
  • At 10:13 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Johnny wrote:

1. With the plethora of hundreds of digital channels it's amazing how many have such low production standards they are virtually unwatchable. I'm sure this is in turn feeding back into mainstream traditional broadcast channels with standards slipping, hence the current crises within programme making.
2. The rich heritage of British film and broadcasting is simply not fairly represented anywhere - this is the great irony of having infinite channels. Think of the £thousands spent by the BFI on restoring archive programmes and digitising ancient film stock - why no tv channel showing these gems to the nation?
3. Movies - again, apparently the choice appears endless to digital viewers, but 'art-house' movies and especially European movies are seldom seen. Film4 has sold-out unforgiveably with its ad breaks, and despite still funding new British film, Channel 4 usually buries those premieres post-midnight: utterly inexplicable.
4. What happened to lengthy seasons celebrating masters of their art? BBC4 has the odd decent attempt, but when did you last see a Dennis Potter season? Or Peter Greenaway? Or Derek Jarman? Channel 4 - why aren't you leading the way here: you would have done this years ago.Be daring for the sake of the arts: I can recall when Wagner's Ring filled an entire daytime schedule on C4 in the 80's: when did you last see a full length opera on a main channel?
If you have created digital sub-channels there is no excuse for filling them with pap.

I think there is nothing wrong with the current state of television.

The copy cat programs and reality tv that folk are complaining about are among the most popular on the tv. I.e. its what a large number of people want to see (If you don't like them, tune into any of the hundreds of other channels available on Sky etc!)

This indicates that the people posting here are not reflective of what most people want, hence should be ignored.

Most normal folk watching TV can't be bothered to post a complaint like this (the only reason I'm doing so is because I'm researching blogs just now!)

Currently I have Sky. This gives my stacks of channels, including specialist channels such as sci-fi, home improvements etc. This means that peoples interests are now much more catered for, right around the clock. Everyone can watch the type of programs that they want to when they want to - its great!

I'd imagine that in the future TVs will be connected to the internet. This will further enhance this providing a user with countless thousands of channels (or perhaps the ability simply to watch what program they want to, when they want to).

YouTube is an early example of this. Program makers (whether its a tv company or a kid with a N95 mobile phone) will be able to put there programs on the net, and get paid when people watch it (via advertising - advertising that is handled seperately by Google etc).

I see nothing bad in this at all.

The only people to fear the future are those that have to regulate this content (an impossible task on the net) and tv stations/broadcasting companies. Film makers could end up loading programs direct to YouTube etc and earning money, bypassing the need for tv stations/companies to exist.

But from a consumers point of view its all good.

  • 235.
  • At 10:51 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Alistair wrote:

There is no more perfect example of News TV's unpleasant desire to get the latest comment or pictures of the big story than the byline that concludes today's front page news relating the fatal shooting of an 11 year old boy, on

Is it sensitive, needed or legal to ask:

"Do you live in the area? Did you see what happened or have been affected by this story? Send us your comments by filling out the form below."

Do the BBC want mobile phone footage of the murder and if so, would the organisation show it? If not, why ask? Possibly the BBC is asking for witnesses but surely printing their statements can only reduce the chances of succesfully prosecuting the culprits.

When the BBC beats it breast and asks why TV is regarded so poorly by people, maybe it should ask what it is trying to achieve when it reports the news? I would suggest that they simply report it, not try to create more of it.

  • 236.
  • At 11:19 AM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • katy wrote:

fascinating comments (must get back to work soon...) and couldn't agree more with many of them - it is lowest common denominator, frustrating documentaries that continually repeat the same points that wind me up the most, and bland dramas and cop shows with continual reliance on the same irritating actors - james nesbitt and robson green anyone? nah thought not.

reminds me of the disapponted sighs whenever i scan the week's tv schedules and made me consider what i actually seek out and enjoy watching and - channel 4 news, a couple of films a week (too late to watch so requires remembering to tape them before bed), the occasional bbc2 comedy or documentary, my name is earl, peep show. yep, definitely think the licence fee is cracking value for money! turn it off and listen to the radio (mark radcliffe and stuart maconie on radio two would trump any of the dross on at 8pm on terrestrial tv)

  • 237.
  • At 12:29 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • D Bedford wrote:

I do find that TV today is aimed at either Reality Fans (DanceX, XFactor etc) or Crimes Drama's (Waking the Dead, Prime Suspect and is it cold case??). There seems to be an endless stream of adverts for a major new series and it will always involve the following

1) A Murder Dectective
2) Quirky Sidekick
3) A twist/Gimmick to the formula wether it be supernatural, troubled past etc)
4) a troubled Past

The only 3 series on the BBC i watch are Rome (and i hope The Tudor's which HBO are now airing in the US), Heroes and Life on Mars.

For me and i never thought id say this Channel 5 have the greater variety With House and Prison Break. But the problem seemd to be (Like Lost, 24 and Prison Break) Everyone watches them and Sky buy them so you never get to see them unless you pay for thier servic.

In Short more originality less easy writing and keep the sucessful series instead of letting SKY poach them

  • 238.
  • At 12:34 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Richard Tinsley wrote:

With most companies and services, if you don't get a decent quality product or service, technically they are in breach of contract and you have the right for refunds etc under the Sales of Goods act.

Perhaps similar consumer rights should be introduced for the TV licence, then the BBC will have to think harder about the content of its channels. Apart from the occasional good quality programme, I no longer feel we're getting value for money!

It's the dumbing-down that puts me off... These comments will be everwhere in this thread, but I see no harm, in chucking my thruppenceworth.

Science - bring back programmes like Q.E.D. Don't be afraid of including actual information amongst the graphics! Use formulae, explain things...

Technology - we're surrounded by the stuff now! Why ditch Tomorrow's World? Idiots!!! How about something covering developments in IT?

Art - again, more in depth criticism. Show us how to read and interpret paintings, sculpture etc.

History - anyone watching the History programming on the average channel would be forgiven for thinking that History solely consisted of Ancient Egypt, Henry VII and World War 2.

Music - We have one of the most vibrant and expansive music scenes in the world. Alternative, Indie, Goth... Let's see it on TV. Whilst you're at it, can we also have some decent classical programming? This includes Ligeti... (see Sarmad's post :o)

Comedy - ditch the crap like 'Grownups', 'Two Pints of Lager' etc.

Reality shows - ditch them. Full stop. No more BB, no more '[Insert Noun Here] From Hell' shows

100 Greatest... Shows - these are usuallly compilations of comedy moments, Sci Fi monsters, 80's Hits... Whatever. Programmes about programmes are the worst thing ever conceived: a media conept that Escher would be proud of. And a complete waste of airspace as a result.

Property Porn Shows - given the fact that I and many others are now priced out of the housing market (partially as a result of the glamourising inherent in these programmes), seeing these just makes me want to kick my TV set in.

Other things to start throwing on the burner include:

  • Cookery Shows

  • Gardening Shows

  • Makeover Shows

  • 'Celebrity' Shows

In general, I'd suggest that the best thing to do would be to assume that the viewer is of reasonable intelligence, and would like to be kept properly informed about things.

So please, let's clear the decks of mindless bollocks and start building a culture we can be proud of.


  • 240.
  • At 01:37 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Giles Harding wrote:

The BBC has always been for me a benchmark in broadcasting not only for the UK but for the world. However in recent times the fall back by the bbc to programmes such as dance X and other copycat ITV rip-offs has been sad. What is odd is that the bbc continues to put out great TV programmes like the recent new series of tribe. This is one of my favourites of all time on television, why the huge gulf in quality? However two programmes on the BBC I fail to see justifying the licence fee or any time spent whatsoever. Firstly, bbc breakfast has slipped to an astonishing level of banality and trivia. this morning I sat through the sports presenter making a joke that a 5 year old would be embarrassed to have made up themselves, yesterday we were treated to a report on slug populations....the list goes on. In fact the only reason I watch it in the morning is because luckily for the BBC GMTV is 50 times worse. This leads me on to the bookend show to breakfast in bbc's line-up. The One show. Pebble mill at one was boring in the 80s, why it has had to be re-invented for the millennium I do not know. Again the trivial banality of every story is horrific to sit through. members of the public are encouraged to write in with stories they want to see covered, including one episode this week about an old lady and her dogs. I can imagine only that the daily mail reading over 65 population of the UK are glued to the one show. however I personally think that the mock humour, tedious rehearsed mock link presenter linkages between items, set design and pitch of this show are an superb insult to the television population during the early evening. The bbc can therefore only have washed its hands with creativity and released the most 2 dimensional, shallow and derivative programme I have ever witnessed outside daytime television.

  • 241.
  • At 01:39 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Fran Notts wrote:

I feel most worried that BBC news, far from reporting the facts,seems to see its mission as explaining them.

This lays the BBC wide open to passing off the personal opinions of its reporters as factual news - when it is not.

  • 242.
  • At 01:49 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Giles Harding wrote:

The BBC has always been for me a benchmark in broadcasting not only for the UK but for the world. However in recent times the fall back by the bbc to programmes such as dance X and other copycat ITV rip-offs has been sad. What is odd is that the bbc continues to put out great TV programmes like the recent new series of tribe. This is one of my favourites of all time on television, why the huge gulf in quality? However two programmes on the BBC I fail to see justifying the licence fee or any time spent whatsoever. Firstly, bbc breakfast has slipped to an astonishing level of banality and trivia. this morning I sat through the sports presenter making a joke that a 5 year old would be embarrassed to have made up themselves, yesterday we were treated to a report on slug populations....the list goes on. In fact the only reason I watch it in the morning is because luckily for the BBC GMTV is 50 times worse. This leads me on to the bookend show to breakfast in bbc's line-up. The One show. Pebble mill at one was boring in the 80s, why it has had to be re-invented for the millennium I do not know. Again the trivial banality of every story is horrific to sit through. members of the public are encouraged to write in with stories they want to see covered, including one episode this week about an old lady and her dogs. I can imagine only that the daily mail reading over 65 population of the UK are glued to the one show. I personally think that the mock humour, tedious rehearsed jokey presenter linkages between items, set design and pitch of this show are an superb insult to the television population during the early evening. The bbc can therefore only have washed its hands with creativity and released the most 2 dimensional, shallow and derivative programme I have ever witnessed outside daytime television.

  • 243.
  • At 01:50 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Glenn wrote:

One thing that has improved TV, one that hasn't and two I'd like to see changed and one other idea:


HD is great - the BBC service is good now and getting better (I'm talking about HD via Sky). Whilst I want more, I'm happy that the investment is appropriate for the number of people who can watch


Football punditry and commentary has managed to get worse (something I'd have thought impossible). Seems to me that the people who run sport on TV are so scared that they'll lose access to managers, press conferences etc. that they daren't speak the truth. Radio does this so much better. The fans would rather hear opinions, even if it meant putting noses out of joint and more managers refusing to talk to the cameras (do you *really* miss Sam Allerdyce?). You could widen this to opinions in general - why is Top Gear so beloved, even by people, like me, who don't own or like cars?


The volume of news output on TV as well as other media outlets means that editors are scrambling for things to cover to fill the time. Given the drop in crime figures, I think this is a big contributor to the increasing fear of crime. I'd love to see News24 (for example) show a lot of minority sport output, and only ramp up to rolling news in the event of that news actually existing

Science coverage on TV is rubbish! I honestly cannot remember the last time I learnt anything (as opposed to hearing news) from TV. Why?


If you're like me, your company has a limited training budget. You may also wish to improve yourself. Why not commission a series of programmes that take some of the best training courses out there and show them in nice 2 hour chunks? I'm thinking negotiation skills, giving presentations, basics of accountancy etc.

It won't be simple, as interaction is an important part of training, but it must be doable - especially if you add an online component.

It would be an excellent use of the license fee, and would hopefully improve the skills of people in the country.

  • 244.
  • At 01:53 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Diane Sims wrote:

The best things about TV are:

1. Frank Gardner.
2. Doctor Who.
3. The potential of digital TV to improve social inclusion, through interactive services and community content. TV is a still a valuable way of communicating, and new technologies can be used to make more of our TV experience, rather than to diminish it.

The worst things about TV are:

1. The drivel.
2. Having more channels, but less original programming.
3. People who look like they're queuing for a bus, but are actually reading the news. I'd like to see more evidence of good editorial decisions, and less concern with style.

  • 245.
  • At 02:09 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Paula Varley wrote:

I think the BBc is doing a marvellous job and would willingly sell my children into slavery to pay for its continued success. It would be a privilege.

  • 246.
  • At 02:17 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

'Old man reading the news' syndrome

I'm not complaining about it, but why are there no older women presenting BBC news programmes?

You have plenty of older men; for example Peter Sissons (aged 65), Nicholas Owen (60) and Jeremy Paxman (57). Name me one relatively old woman. Where is the balance?

what amazes me is the amount of people on the bbc website who go to the lengths of writing a great long message moaning about how the hate the bbc and how rubbish they are... yet they must sit and trawl through the bbc web pages looking for things to complain about. Losers...

  • 248.
  • At 04:12 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Giles Harding wrote:

I know I am greedy wanting two posts but, I cannot go without mentioning:

1. Programmes which replay footage from the previous 5 minutes as a recap and then play a "still to come" section every two minutes so that in teh progress of a 30 minute tv programme you have only actually seen 10 minutes of footage...coming up which of our chefs will incur the wrath of the head chef...stop messing about and maybe we will find out.

2. Chris Moyles....why?

3. Isnt it time you changed the format of kids TV link presenting? Its too Nickelodian...cant you do something fresh and exiting? Or is the producer of CBBC over 40? They are aren't they!?

4. The News - Its gone downhill. Flooding does not affect everyone and no more people died than would on Britains roads every day. What about more technology and science reports. You seem to want to tell us enough about celbrities, I'd rather not know. Tell me some facts.

5. Where is David Attenborough, I dont like Bill Oddie, he isnt qualified and I cant get the image of him swimming with seals dressed like an inflatable dinghy that time out of my head. He is a fool. You know this. David!.......come back.

6. Why is Rick Stein such a facist? I actually enjoy the mediterranean escapes programm but every 5 minutes its like "ooooooh why doesnt anyone take the time to slow down and pick their own asparagus, we just dont take the time". Thanks Rick but we all have jobs, a lot of people work long shifts at your mini food theme workld in Padstow I expect too.

  • 249.
  • At 04:13 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Diana Pinnell wrote:

We've heard that A Level and GCSE results are better than ever, but our main TV providers believe the whole population are stupid.

Breakfast is a disaster - trivial coverage of important news items, bending over backwards to feature some poor reporter repeating what the hosts just told us, far too much time devoted to hosts and reporters doing silly things, unwelcome coverage of celebrity-doing-something-silly shows, etc. etc. I want Radio 4's Today on TV, not a TV version of some half-witted magazine for half-witted customers.

Daytime programmes are aimed at morons - the 15 mins of fame provided for the public who participate in the make-money-from-your-junk-and-home shows does not justify repetition of scenes several times through the painfully staged events, and trust me, I can recall what she wants to spend the money on without a reminder every five minutes. Recent lapses in honesty just lead me to believe the goods were planted under the bed by the program makers anyway.

The BBC is not supposed to advertise but puffs itself and its own programs endlessly. Why is my license fee funding this?

Give your viewers credit for some intelligence, for heaven's sake! Or can those of us with O Levels get the service for free?

  • 250.
  • At 04:50 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Marcus Mansukhani wrote:

A 'pet peeve' is the BBC using country names that have been changed after Independence. For example Timor Leste is still called the Indonesian name 'Timur-Timor' which translates directly to 'East Timor'. I've spoken both to Timorese and western NGOs on the topic and they say that most people in the region presume that the BBC is pro-Indonesian when covering the country.

  • 251.
  • At 05:09 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Lauren Turner wrote:

The majority of people working in TV despise the progammes they're working on.

You shut up about it because you're on a contract and need the money.

So bad TV is made by (and because of) people who don't give two hoots about the drivel they're churning out.

The Producers, APs and Researchers on short-term contracts can't change the status quo. There are lots of other people who want your job, you get told ad nauseum in the industry.

And they're right in many ways. What company is going to train someone on a short-term contract? What difference is there between you and someone fresh out of a meeedja degree? Not as much as there should be.

And the downward spiral continues.

  • 252.
  • At 05:35 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Russell Miller wrote:

Did you know in other European countries they have their own language TV series?!! Cops & robbers, hospitals, teachers, history .... the usual stuff, any chance we might see any of this? American imports seem to be purchased primarily as they are in English, not for the quality of the output!

  • 253.
  • At 07:21 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • John Hall wrote:

Stop seeking the lowest common denominators in your target audience profiles.
Ridiculous doubling up of reporters 'on the spot' illuminating us no further.
No more cheap fillers in the schedule, far better to return to the trades tesy card than the usual insults to the viewers' intelligence.
History did not start with the invention of cinereel, so why does so much documentary history on television focus solely on the twentieth century?

  • 254.
  • At 08:24 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • Al wrote:

I have to agree with the posters about pointless Live Broadcasts. Just making a journalist stand outside a building at any time of day does not make their comments any more real or meaningful. The mind-boggling cost of satellite uplinks that is expended on these repeated visits to journalists who, presumably have little real opportunity to work in the intervening hours, could be better spent on more useful analysis and even simply not spent at all.

  • 255.
  • At 10:04 PM on 23 Aug 2007,
  • chrisb wrote:

I think the BBC is undervalued by politicians and is under threat.
Instead of having to justify the licence fee which I believe Michael White argued is an "anachronism",the fee should be increased to stop the Dumbing down and Americanisation of British culture and increase the quality of programming.

Lack of independence from Government should be tackled e.g The people should elect the governors so they would be less likely to sack Directors who support the truth over dodgy dossiers.

The BBC should not be a "for profit" organisation - its' raison d'etre must be above populism

  • 256.
  • At 02:03 AM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Cllr David Skinner wrote:

I am grateful that my previous comment was used, so perhaps I may add one more.

The BBC uses public money through the licence fee, and should therefore be as open about salary ranges/ costs as any public organisation.

I have tried through email and in person to find out how much, for example, an episode of "Newsnight" or one of the soaps costs. I have always been fobbed off with waffle. So can we be told clearly in future, please?

  • 257.
  • At 08:15 AM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Peter Hughes wrote:

I use the www to keep me informed, and the many BBC websites form the backbone of my attention. I value online news reports, links to background information (there are too few external links), the opportunity to be part of a feedback loop; the audio and video podcasts, the short-clip news reports. Once a fast, reliable, wide-bandwidth broadband signal is available regardless of 'distance from the exchange', I see little reason for the continued existence of broadcast television. I wish the BBC would divert all of its resources into changing a junk-diet of undemanding, celebrity-besotted entertainment into wholesome food for hungry, interested, questioning minds.

  • 258.
  • At 12:41 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Just get rid of the guff.

Be daring, attract a whole new viewing audience by innovating and challenging peoples minds, not squandering tax payers money pandering to a brain dead population who think entertainment is watching the latest “z celebrities learn real life hobbies” program.

This is the same population that believe they are in the minority who have managed to answer the really difficult competition question and eagerly waste money on sending text messages into the TV Company.

These people would probably prefer to save their TV licence and have 20 minutes of advertisements for washing powder and 4 X 4’s so you’re doing yourselves an injustice by serving them.

  • 259.
  • At 04:19 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

"These people would probably prefer to save their TV licence and have 20 minutes of advertisements for washing powder and 4 X 4’s so you’re doing yourselves an injustice by serving them."

Paul is those twenty minutes of adverts are around a show of the quality of House, Bones, CSI, Doctor Who, Life on Mars etc.. then I would be very happy to put up with them.

I wouldmuch rather watch 40 minutes of great drama and 20 minutes of adverts then an hour spent watching Strictly Come Dancing or the National IQ test. The great thing is that with PVRs and Sky Plus the 20 minutes of adverts become 30 seconds of fast forwarding :)

  • 260.
  • At 06:21 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Burchell wrote:

My ultimate complaint about the BBC is its lack of national identity. It must learn that it is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation. Already it is contemplating television stations in Farsi and Arabic to appeal to a Middle East audience.
This is British money being spent on an Arabic news channel; if I wanted to watch the news in Arabic I would specifically tune in to Al Jazeera.
Please Auntie... shape up!

  • 261.
  • At 09:33 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Porpentine wrote:

One of the things that made the BBC watchable for many years was that there were no adverts. We paid a hefty price tag for this and continue to do so. But now there are constant and inappropriate adverts wedged between every single programme.
Just because they are all for the BBC and its output doesn't make them any less adverts.
And to all decision makers - "making an impact" is not the same as "good"

  • 262.
  • At 10:49 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Rosemary wrote:

I had been waiting with anticipation to see and hear Jeremy Paxman give his keynote speech on Friday 24th August 2007.

What is wrong with TV is that we were encouraged to believe we would hear from him, but in the event we heard very little of his speech, punctuated by people analysing his words.

Why could we not hear him for ourselves and make up our own minds?

Enough said.

It is not good enough to say we can hear him on the Newsnight website - not everyone has broadband or computers.

  • 263.
  • At 11:21 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Paul C wrote:

Drains - BAD, Floods - GOOD: the priorities of the news editor. Youth violence - NEWSWORTHY, positive youth solutions - NOT WORTH AIRTIME.

TV is staffed by intelligent, egocentric extroverts more interested in themselves than the subjects they report on, and that contempt shines out of the screen. The few accidental and now superannuated exceptions dating from before the era of the overweening self-regard of the self-perpetuating mediafolk oligarchy (no one over 22 need apply)like Attenborough and Moore prove the point.

The internet is the only hope.

bye bye BBC, you were good while you lasted!

  • 264.
  • At 11:58 PM on 24 Aug 2007,
  • Greg Dance wrote:

What is Television?

Is it a means by which a well informed group of well trained professional programme makers and artists etc get together and do their best to enlighten, entertain and inform as much as they can?

Or is it a method where the programme makers sit at a telephone and a PC screen constantly watching the so called ratings on their shows and other so called poll results that pretend to be authoritative and seek guidance from these for the content of their programmes.

I work in education and often see children of ages between 7 and 16 emulating their favourite characters from some TV show/comedy/soap and its not only a disruptive experience in an educational environment, its also reflective of the lack of responsibility that pervades our bored and boring society.
If it takes shock and / or an over powered drama to get attention then the content of the message will itself be corrupted by that need and so is lost.

Programme designers and makers need to stop and think first before they get excited about a new programme idea and ask if the content is really a safe one to throw into millions of peoples living rooms. The same also goes for film makers who constantly dream up super heroes who always defeat incredible odds and psychopathic enemies in their quests for justice. No person in the real world is as completely bad as the baddies and no adversary is as wonderfully attractive, strong and heroic as the hero either.
A real reality show would depict normal people living normal lives, not a bunch of human hamsters behaving abnormally in a specially constructed house to make the ratings appeal to the advertisers of the show.

The BBC really needs to look in the mirror and decide if it needs to chase ratings in the same way that commercial broadcasters do.
I suggest not.

There are many good and worthy causes that never get recognition by broadcasters because they are not exciting enough (extreme). Why not? Should the cameras roll only for the extreme subjects and if you can argue that they should, why?
That debate was bypassed by the TV channels in their flat out race for supremacy and quality was swept aside in the process.

Please explain yourselves for this calamitous failure to maintain quality standards in broadcasting over the past 15 years

  • 265.
  • At 12:32 AM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • grania davy wrote:

BBC Browns broadcasting corporation, and we have to pay for it! The standard of reporting leaves much to be desired. We should be able to press the red button as suggested by a previous blogger and get a refund.

  • 266.
  • At 12:54 AM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • John wrote:

Agree with much of the above (and have already posted), but hey......

Thanks for the Reading/Leeds Coverage BBC, brilliant, good to see you have discovered it....... (took no Glastonbury last year I suspect) but good on you anyway!!!!!

  • 267.
  • At 01:10 AM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • Daniel wrote:

If there is one company which should be aiming for quality, not quantity, it is the BBC.

I don't need 10 channels all showing something to do with celebrities. Most reality TV should be stricken from the schedules. You could get rid of News 24 - I've never seen it.

TV "on demand" is convenient, but by creating a service which is locked to a single platform, you have ensured that it is already obsolete.

The BBC news website sets a gold standard for the web, if we ignore the problems with spelling and the perpetual 'quoting' of 'things which might not be fact'.

I am a member of the "youth" age group which you are apparently keen to "engage", and - though I don't claim to be representative - the only programme I watch with any regularity is Newsnight Review.

As for the recent controversies, I don't really care.

  • 268.
  • At 12:42 PM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • Muriel Taylor wrote:


1. Why does BBC1 advertise BBC1 programmes on BBC1?

2. Why do we not have 100% serious journalists on 'Breakfast'?

3. Why do we have to suffer Kate Silverton's simpering and lash fluttering?

4. Why do we have to put up with Louise Minchin's incessant giggling?

5. Why do we have to suffer football at peak viewing times, when the majority of licence payers are not interested in football?

6. Why can't big sports events be shared out across BBC

7. Why hasn't BBC3 been axed for its lack of intelligent, decent and entertaining programmes?

8. Why do we have to suffer ridiculous, patronising programmes such as DIY SOS - which is an insult to even my cat's intelligence?

9. Why don't we have an I.Q. test for BBC Executives only - when this would provide us with such an hilarious programme?

10. Why do we have to have 'On the Spot' reports and 'Live Broadcasts' on news items, when all we want to hear is a straight forward, studio-based account of what has happened?

11. Why have we just traumatised and exploited several teenagers by asking them to open their exam result letters in front of the whole nation -for what purpose?

12. What happened to 1st class drama such as Judge John Deed and Spooks?

13. Why has the BBC lowered itself to the level of commercial television by showing 'reality' T.V. programmes which are an insult to most and can not be described as entertaining?

14. When will you be promoting Jeremy Paxman for voicing what the majority of people in Great Britain think about the B.B.C.


  • 269.
  • At 06:43 PM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • Tm wrote:

i really hope Madeline is alive and well and is found soon. i can't imagine the pain her parents are going through. How can anyone be so cruel to do this to such a vunerable child. But i hope for the best and prey she is ok.
((( But there is one thing i think i need to address. There has been a number of people claiming to of seen Maddy. But all they have done is wrote to a newspaper or phoned the police. I know if i thought i seen her i would run as fast as i could up to her and if it was Maddy for definate then get her away, restrain and beat up the people who have got her, get as many people around as i can to help and then call the police. I think the news has to make this clear to everbody. If you do see Maddy then actually do something about it ! )))
Best hopes to Maddys parents ! i give my support and sympathy.

  • 270.
  • At 09:58 PM on 25 Aug 2007,
  • jolene wrote:

Isn't the BBC lucky to have all these people who care? They should listen and reflect.

Spent some time on holiday in London this year and was struck by how different it was from the rest of the UK and how insulated people who live and work in London are from the rest of the UK - it's like a separate state (that is not a criticism; just a statement of what it looks and feels like to me). This comes through strongly on the telly (and radio), with programming feeling very London/south-east-centric, which is frustrating and off-putting.

Used to watch a lot of telly, now not much at all. Listen much more to radio (but don't always like what I hear)and wish radio programmes like Something Understood and From Our Own Correspondent had a wider reach or were repeated (the list of Radio 4 programmes that get on my nerves is a lot longer...).

I recently enjoyed a BBC programme about Thomas Telford that I came across on Sunday evening. Superb - but not sure I would have sat down to watch it. Think you may have problems getting us to sit down and watch telly again - we're busy elsewhere (often on our PCs) in the evenings. Feel there might be some potential in tapping into the self-improvement trend, signposting programmes in a way that gets us making an appointment to watch. Lots of us sit down to food around 7.30. At that time, if I want to eat in front of the TV, I will always choose C4 news, despite the fact I'd like something non-news and something that feels self improving!

One last thing: agree with all the people who say how much they hate the reports from outside the MOD/No 10 at 10 in the evening... Stop it now!

  • 271.
  • At 03:08 PM on 26 Aug 2007,
  • GUY FOX wrote:

As bad as some people think the BBC has become over the last 10 years, it is still far superior to anything that we have here in the United $tates. The joke here in Amerika is that we have a free press... or that the alleged news (actually the newes) is "fair and balanced. Excuse me while I wretch!

Fair and balanced? A free press in the U.$.? Nothing could be further from the truth. The main-$tream media in the U.$. is nothing more than a propagan-duh machine for corp-rat interests. The name of the game is to use tell-lie-vision as a tool for keeping the Amerikan people $tewepid... to keep them in fear... to make them be irresponsible profligate consumers in lieu of citizens.

Indeed! This is why America has become Amerika! It is why there is little or no workable health care $ystem in the U.$. for the common wealth of the citizenry. It is why Amerika indulges in waging foreign imperialist invasions under the guise of spreading democracy... when there is little democracy at home. The main-$tream press in the U.$. explains how George W. Bush, Amerika's $ociopathic mobster president, got $ellected and then re-$ellected.

  • 272.
  • At 01:50 AM on 27 Aug 2007,
  • john lemmon wrote:

BBC America, what a boring, wasted opportunity. From the home and gardening to the bed hopping programs and up scale ads, it seems the market targeted is the well- heeled and self indulgent. (While I presently have cable service, I tend to switch service back and forth with satellite TV.)

Given BBC's reputation, many of us expect and want to see much more challenging and stimulating programs, like how are people solving or not solving various problems around the world and especially in UK. Would BBC consider expanding US markets with one or two more stimulating BBC channels, including children's programming?

I would like to see BBC America extensively advertise a new program, maybe a 1 hr weekly primetime documentary series devoted to discussing BBC resources, philosophies, limitations, future planning and samples of various highly rated BBC shows not presented on BBC America.

Time to cut the rubbish,time to present the news and not opinion,time to be seen as unbiased,time to cut gross salaries paid to puerile and not so puerile presenters,time to double check information and not therefore present lies as fact and then have to issue a teeny weeny apology where no-one will see it.
There are those who have been aggressively WRONG in their presentation of the facts and the forthcoming apology was very quiet indeed.'Mistakes' made on a news programme should be rectified LOUD and CLEAR on the following programme.

  • 274.
  • At 10:04 PM on 27 Aug 2007,
  • jack wrote:

i am sick of the behaviour of the british media giveing michael jackson an un fair welcome to england he was cleard off all his charges i a espically mad at the sun they allways give him a bad name

  • 275.
  • At 10:29 PM on 27 Aug 2007,
  • Philip Glynn wrote:

I have 2 concerns, one is the lack of coverage on BBC Radio 5 of lower league football, never ever a commentary.

My second matter is the existence of the BBC Trust. I sent them my complaint about the Football coverage, I had a reply from the Complaints. My MP has asked the Minister involved, he doesn't want to know.

There is a petition on the No 10 web site

  • 276.
  • At 01:53 PM on 28 Aug 2007,
  • Katie wrote:

I would echo many of the points made above. You're never going to please all the people all the time, but the license fee means that you don't have to always cater to the lowest denominator either.

Like many of the posters here, I have abandoned TV completely. I still listen to BBC Radio and use the website, so for some bizarre reason I feel the need to keep paying my licence. But the only shows I watch are streamed at my convenience from the the US cable channel that produces them - the Daily Show and the Colbert Report - two shows who could teach you a thing or two about the state of the media and news broadcasting in particular.

  • 277.
  • At 01:02 PM on 31 Aug 2007,
  • simon dixon wrote:

The BBC news department is very biased polictically in favour of Labour. There the integrity of the nes programmes is deeply floored.

A great shame.

  • 278.
  • At 12:46 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

Having lived abroad for the past six years, I am now totally disappointed with what the BBC has apparently become. All the news is biased towards the left/ liberal viewpoint, multiculturalism is taken to a point where the presenters/ content of many programmes now represent only a minute precentage of the population of the UK. The 50 somethings (as I am) can only look back in horror at what we have lost, and wonder how on earth we got to this sorry state of affairs. I really do despair. Both content and presentation of much of what the BBC produces is now abysmal.

  • 279.
  • At 08:57 PM on 02 Sep 2007,
  • Jamie wrote:

I have lost all faith in the BBC to show any concern for their customers. I am,however, grateful for the blogs in that other people can use them as a forum to discuss issues with each other. Take a look at the BBC's lack of response to the several BBC 9/11 blogs. They are by far the most responded to by the British public yet totally ignored by everyone at the BBC. This tells a story of what they think of the ordinary viewer and where they have failed to connect with the licence payer with their refusal to answer any of the points made.Let's see a documentary on the third tower that fell on 9/11, WTC7, the one that fell down in sympathy with the other two which the BBC managed to predict before it happened. London is shortly to be home to several new skyscrapers yet can we be sure that they will be safe? Come on BBC reassure us (& try using scientists & engineers not conspiracy investigators)!

  • 280.
  • At 01:41 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Why oh why oh why oh why is the fabled and much heralded BBC 24 hour news nothing more than 24 hours of the same three or four news stories going round and round and round and round?

All this technology and all those reporters yet we're told over and over and over about the same few stories.

Laughable and horribly expensive.

  • 281.
  • At 02:10 AM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Hamayoon Ferhut wrote:

I am indeed unhappy about the World Media outlets as it gets worse each year. Please take JP's comment seriously as he expresses himself frankly. Media needs to build trust, transparency and impartiality in order to win the hearts and minds of public.

  • 282.
  • At 09:39 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair wrote:

Natasha Kaplinsky is the embodiment of what's wrong with BBC TV News. I used to rely on BBC news to keep me informed, whereas now I can only rely on it to keep me infuriated. Frequently mistaking 'entertainment' for 'news', over hyping stories that would barely take 2 breaths to update (e.g. 1/3 of the 10 o'clock news to tell us that there's nothing new in the Madeline McCann saga).. now the BBC strategy is clear ! In the vain hope that 'blue collar' workers are interested, we are to be fed bite size news at all hours (BBC Three is bad enough, but BBC 1 as well?!). Nothing that could tax an audience with more than a single brain cell.. (we wouldn't want to alienate anyone now should we ?) consequently we all suffer by the paucity of any discernable CONTENT.

The slide in standards has gone on for too long. You might think we have a choice and can avoid 60 second news and plum for a sensible news programme like the 10 o'clock news instead, but the whole news output seems infected by the sloppy, showbiz obsessed journalism that passes for TV news.

Given long enough the strategy might work, because we'll all be so numbed by Ms Kaplinskys chatter we'll be duped into thinking we've been informed. I wouldn't trust her to feed my cat, let alone digest the days happenings.

WTF is a blue collar worker anyway ? If we're going to talk colours, white trash I presume! If it weren't for Radio 4 and some occasionally inspired pieces on News 24 (e.g. Sue Lloyd-Roberts report on Zimbabwae) I'd despair that a once world renowned news organisation was being run by ex-Big Brother producers.

Has anything actually happened with this? Can we have an update?

Or is this another exercise which has just been swept under the carpet, a token 'we're listening, honest' job?

I'm moving house this weekend, and considering ditching the TV altogether. :o)

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