Sunday, 24 February 2008

Taking the BBC to task

Time for one or two gripes about the Beeb. First up is the way they trail forthcoming TV programmes. I'm not too upset if subjected to a very small number of trailers but what is annoying is the way they keep repeating a preview of just one programme. I certainly don't have the inclination to watch BBC1 morning, noon and night but during the past week or more keep getting told about 'Happy Birthday Brucie', a celebration of Bruce Forsyth's 80th birthday. This was shown earlier this evening - I didn't watch it, sorry Bruce! I recognise he is very popular with a lot of people and is to be congratulated that he can still do the business with his programmes. But these shows just aren't my cup of tea and I'm not into celebrity culture.

I'm not upset by the BBC screening this programme (he's only 80 once afterall!). No it's the way that the whole thing is being rammed down our throats which bothers me. I certainly couldn't fail to notice that he was coming up to his 80th. In fact I'm more aware of his age than that of anyone else on the planet!

If this wasn't enough I'm now going to moan about the half hour programme 'Spotlight' our local half hour news/magazine programme on Monday to Friday. In reality it's not the programme itself which is the subject of my ire but the fact that it never is a half hour programme. I've looked at the BBC1 website which makes it clear that the local news shows go on till 7 o'clock. Well like heck they do. Normally Spotlight finishes some five minutes short of that time. Then we have these troublesome trailers whilst the next programme 'The One Show' starts about a couple of minutes prior to its scheduled time. Nothing at all against 'The One Show' - I watch it on occasion - but I feel I'm being robbed of part of my local programme and am fed up with it. If the powers that be consider that Spotlight should finish at 18.55 then they should be honest and say so.

A slight change of tack now. Sometimes in regard to the TV licence fee one hears the moan "the TV licence isn't worth the money with all the repeats and everything". Now I'm know more enthusiastic about shelling out money for any licence than the next person. But so far as the cost is concerned the TV output is only part of the picture not the whole. I can remember when every radio had to have a licence; now of course the one licence covers everything. Then there is the little matter of the BBC presence on the internet with a vast amount of information, links, blogs and opportunities to comment. Add on the BBC World Service. Whilst I don't doubt for a moment that there is plenty of scope for money to be saved I just wanted to make the point that the BBC is far more than a few TV channels.

I hope that I've redressed the balance a bit with the last paragraph!

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