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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Tuesday Twat(s)

No. 66. ITV

OK, I make no apologies - this is a rant after being forced to listen to ITV1 at work all night.

What the fuck is the point of ITV1? For my readers abroad, ITV was the UK's first commercial TV channel. Launched 51 years ago, it was the only rival to the BBC. In recent years, it's original channel has been rebranded as ITV1 and there are 5 more ITV channels available on digital TV - ITV2, 3 & 4 plus ITV play (a 24 hour premium rate gambling channel) and Men and Motors.

I can honestly say that there is NOTHING that appeals to me on ITV anymore. Seriously, it is abominable waste of bandwidth. A look at the typical schedule of ITV1 lends support to my argument that it should be rebranded LCD1 - as in Lowest Common Denominator. It is Chav TV personified. Although the BBC has nothing to be terriby proud of these days, if ITV were the channel funded by our license fee, I would seriously risk a fine for not buying a license. The schedule of ITV is basically a mix of soap operas, reality shows, shit talent shows and even shitter "Celebrity" Talent shows. In fact, ITV will put the word "Celebrity" in front of anything in the hope that it sells. It's flagship News at 10:30 is just a dumbed down version of the BBC 10 oclock news for tabloid readers and it's "hard-hitting" documentary programme "Tonight" is basically a soundbite friendly Audiovisual companion to whatever stories are bothering the right-wing mid-market tabloids, such as the Daily Express.

Unfortunately, the Sportcentre has a TV with SKY and it drives me to distraction. When the kids are in it plays non-stop cartoons, whipping them up into a hyper-active frenzy. It is nothing more than visual tartrazine. I have actually taken to switching off the TV before the kids arrive and both coaches and parents reported an improvement in the kids behaviour, they were quieter and paid more attention. Unfortunately, some of the parents bring hoardes of non-playing kids to watch their siblings play. It would be unthinkable that these kids might read a book, do some colouring in perhaps or (heaven forbid!) talk to their parents or the other children. Instead the first thing that these parents do is demand that I turn on Children's ITV. And I am told we can't refuse. The worst thing is the noise. I don't actually mind the kids yelling and running around too much, it is a natural noise that I can tune out. It just seems that running around to a backdrop of Spongebob Squarepants or whatever the fuck is showing is impossible to tune out. It DEMANDS your attention, even though I actually sit with my back to the screen. I'm sure that there is something deliberately stimulating about the way the cartoons are constructed.

After the kids leave, the TV remains on. Most of the DMs are soap addicts and so I am treated to Cockney Scum screaming at each other in Eastenders, Manc Scum screaming at each other in Coronation Street and Yorkshire Scum screaming at each other in Emmerdale. After the last of the soaps, the DM then settles down to watch whatever mind-numbing, low-budget, hyped up bullshit that ITV1 is pumping out. A few months ago it was "Soap Star" X factor where former soap stars murder perfectly good songs. At the moment it is "Celebrity" X-Factor where former soap stars murder perfectly good songs. Are we spotting a pattern yet boys and girls?

Two weeks ago, the SKY box stopped working. As we don't have a regular ariel, we couldn't receive anything. I didn't even try to conceal my delight. Given that we have been waiting 6 months for someone to repair the nets dividing the badminton courts, I was ecstatic. By the next evening the SKY repairman had been in and all was fixed. Fuck.

So to the management of ITV1, I implore you - either give up your bandwidth to other channels or at least fire the current board of twats and look at poaching the people in charge of turning Five around and the Channel4/E4/More4 crew. Before I am forced to do permanent damage to the SKY box.




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