Well said

…last week a cameraman arrived at the London to record a video clip of Ramsay for the Emmy Awards. “The guy said to me, ‘Can you be angry?\’” Ramsay recalled wistfully. “I said: ‘No, I can\’t, f*** off\’.”

Keep Hoping

With Carol Vorderman\’s departure from Countdown a sign that the bubble has burst, the BBC will presumably be telling its own presenters to take a 90 per cent pay cut or go searching for another job. That will mean Jonathan Ross\’s yearly earnings falling to £600,000 a year, Graham Norton\’s to £250,000 and Jeremy Paxman\’s to £100,000. By reducing its wage bill for presenters to £24.2 million, that will allow the BBC to save £218 million and so cut the cost of a TV licence by about £10.

After all, as Carol\’s departure from Countdown shows, the market rates are indeed falling.

Product Placement

Whether product placement should be allowed in TV shows or not. Hmm, difficult question.

…ministers are consulting on whether to implement part of a European directive, which would allow product placement in the UK from as early as 2010.

Under the proposals advertisers would be able to pay to have products featured in most TV genres except news, current affairs, sport and children\’s programming.

However, the prospect of Coca-Cola or McDonald\’s advertising their products during prime-time entertainment programmes or dramas has divided opinion.

What would be the objection? That viewers would be mislead in some manner? That there would be a further orgy of consumerism? That cats will lie down with dogs and there will be rains of blood?

Hmm, wonder if there is any way of actually testing this?

Popular US imports, such as The X-Files and Desperate Housewives, regularly include products that companies have paid thousands of dollars to feature.

Sex and the City, the popular American sitcom starring Sarah Jessica Parker, featured Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo shoes so frequently that it was credited with turning the brands into household names.

Research shows that in the last series of American Idol, the TV talent show, there were no fewer than 4,349 examples of product placement, and 3,291 in the first three months of this year alone.

Ah, so we already have product placement on UK TV screens.

OK; anybody willing to claim that US TV shows cause the cats and dogs thing, the sanguinary soakings, while UK TV shows do not?

No? Then there doesn\’t seem to be much of an argument against such product placement then, does there?

Bring Back Shakespeare

None of this modern nonsense on the TV screens:

If the BBC was hoping its new drama about England\’s courts and prisons would ruffle a few wigs, the corporation can indulge in a leisurely moment of self-congratulation. Criminal Justice, which charts one young man\’s journey through the prison system, has provoked a terse exchange between the head of the Bar Council and the writer behind the thriller, which is drawing in almost 5 million viewers.

For the council, Timothy Dutton QC, has taken a dim view of the way barristers in the programme, particularly in the second episode, are portrayed as underhand, unprincipled and overly aggressive. The writer, Peter Moffatt, says the Bar has to face the facts. And he\’s a trained criminal barrister too.

Wimps! Shakespeare I say:

The first thing we do, let\’s kill all the lawyers.

None of this namby pamby "terse exchanges". We already know what needs to be done so get on with it!

Bravo, Bravo!

Now here\’s a truly inventive use of the Channel Islands and no, it\’s got nothing at all to do with tax.

The loophole allows ITV programmes to be registered for compliance purposes with a tiny franchise, Channel Television, based in Jersey and Guernsey.

About 40% of ITV shows – mostly made by independent production companies – are vetted in the Channel Islands to ensure that they do not breach broadcasting guidelines.

It means that Ofcom can levy fines against these programmes based on only the modest advertising revenue of Channel Television, rather than the £1.5 billion earned last year by ITV plc, which owns 11 of the 15 ITV regional franchises.

Very well done indeed to whichever lawyer thought that one up!

Bleedin\’ Communitarians

There\’s also a cultural objection to the new ways of seeing, which is the one Davies makes. The biggest defining feature that TV has had, in comparison with other art forms such as theatre, film and literature, is that millions of people watched the programmes at precisely the same moment – in the way they still do for a football match or news of a terrorist attack. And every format had its own time of day – breakfast, afternoon, evening, late night – or of the week: a Saturday-night drama being tangibly different from a Sunday-night one, for instance.

Is TV being seduced too easily by new technology into losing its most unique aspect – community consumption?

There really must be better things tto do with one\’s time than think, write, or read about how we don\’t all watch TV programs at the same time.

The atomisation of society, cultural alienation, the anomie of modernity…..all because we watch Dr. Who at different times.

Snore.

Oh Lord

Please save us from idiot regulators:

Internet service providers could face a new tax to help pay for unprofitable programmes shown on ITV and Channel 4, which may in turn lead to higher broadband charges for consumers.

The levy could be imposed by the Government on the service providers and websites within the next few years, under proposals published yesterday about the future funding of "public service" programmes which make little or no money for commercial broadcasters.

So why do these programs make little money? Because no one wants to watch them. So why should there be any public subsidy to them? They are clearly producing less value than they cost to produce: this is known as making us all poorer, a destruction of value.

And why should people who deliberately use a different technology, the internet, pay for the failures of an old one, TV? Should we have taxed the car makers to support the buggy whip manufacturers?

This is as silly as taxing dustmen so that Dukes can go to the opera….oh, wait, we do that don\’t we?

Sexism at the BBC

There\’s an element of truth to the complaints:

Stephanie Flanders, the Newsnight presenter, has become the latest high-profile journalist to criticise the lack of women over 50 on television.

The Oxford and Harvard graduate, who is to replace Evan Davis as the BBC\’s economics editor, said it was wrong that female news presenters were dropped as soon as they hit a certain age.

I\’ve no doubt that women are treated differently as they age from the men they work alongside. However, I\’m also pretty certain that these same women are treated differently from the men they work alongside when young too. Whether this should be true or not a glance at your screen will show you that the women who are chosen to present are so chosen because of the way they look. We don\’t see incredibly bright and talented munts on our screens.

To complain that once the looks go one is disposed of, when it\’s the looks that got you there in the first place, just doesn\’t work, sorry.

The Rule of Law

This is interesting:

BSkyB\’s 17.9pc stake in ITV may have offended many people\’s sense of what\’s fair but it didn\’t appear to offend the Government\’s very own 2003 Communications Act which allows BSkyB to own up to 20pc in ITV – it became known as the Murdoch clause after all. That was introduced under the more Murdoch-friendly Tony Blair.

The law says that BSkyB can own 20 pc of ITV. The Minister has said that it must sell half of its 17.9% stake.

What was that about being a country ruled by the law?

TV Producers, Listen!

My secret fantasy is that one day the two genres should collide, and Jeremy Clarkson be filmed as the tall, sneering Regency hero in the tight pantalons, test-driving his four-in-hand racing curricle at high speed. I know, only 4bhp. Not a patch on a Bugatti Veyron. But think of the viewing figures, boys, think of the viewing figures.

Selina Scott Speaks Out!

In a thinly-veiled swipe against some younger women presenters, Miss Scott told The Daily Telegraph that the BBC and other news operations were more interested in "presentation over substance".

"So often you see people coming through the system without a strong journalistic background, who haven\’t covered a wide range of stories," she said.

"Women are taken on because they are intelligent and good-looking but not because of the experience they\’ve had in breaking or covering stories."

Highly snigger worthy. Hands up everyone who thinks that Selina Scott would have been employed as a newsreader if she had looked like Margaret Beckett?

Can the Leopard Change His Shorts?

The Olympic Games\’ ability to attract controversy is enjoying a new twist after China\’s equivalent of Des Lynam was humiliated at a television ceremony by his wife storming onstage and accusing him of conducting an affair.

Opinion was divided. While many enjoyed the humiliation doled out to the CCTV anchor – a breed held in much contempt by internet users – others pointed out that Mrs Hu should not have been surprised at her treatment.

After all, Zhang was already married to his first wife when he met her.

Perhaps not, eh?