The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'TV' Category

19 December
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Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

I watched the BBC’s take on the “Great Train Robbers” last night. The Telegraph dubbed it polished which it certainly was. But I can’t help agreeing with one of the comments.

For my money this show was more style than substance. Yes the filming, sets and score were immaculate but where was the script and believability? It sounded more like a 50′s Pinewood studio crime caper. The dialogue between the crooks was dire as if any of them ever spoke to each other in comic voice bubble language. As a consequence I found it very difficult to believe in them and it failed to add any depth to the plot and characters.

It was an excellent example of the geezer caper genre, but more “Italian Job” than “Get Carter” with the snappy one liners and lack of  atmospheric menace – and the production values were not always 100%….snow and leafless trees in August?

Presenting Bruce Reynolds as framing the blag as a symbolic strike against “The Establishment” was a laughable attempt to over egg the whole affair with retro sixties mythology. They were South London thieves, greedy, violent and preferring others to work hard so that they could then rob them of the fruits of their labour.

Robin Hoods they were not.

But then the romantic affair between media luvvies and violent criminals dates back to that very era of the sixties when the colour supplements began to glamourise the Krays.

Dan Hodges, I think, hit the nail on the head. During the “caper” the train driver, Jack Mills, and some of the postal staff were savagely beaten. Others were terrorised into compliance. But, of course, they weren’t chirpy geezers who were dreaming of opening a club or buying a villa in Spain. They were just ordinary anonymous faces who did the boring jobs that keep our society ticking over.

Tonight, the BBC will present the first of a two-part docudrama on the robbery. One, called the “Copper’s Tale”, focuses on the efforts of the police to catch the perpetrators of the crime. The second, “The Robber’s Tale”, shows things from the perspective of Biggs and his colleagues. I presume it was done that way in the interests of balance. I also suspect there will not be a third episode “The Railway Worker’s Tale”.

Amen to that, say I….

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11 December
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What David Cameron Was Really Saying To US TV Hackette Christiane Amanpour ….


No, Christiane, I do not want to talk about bloody Nigel Farage…..

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16 October
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Hey BBC….I’m Pitching You My New Panel Show “Mock the Left”….When Can It Start?

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Seeing the significantly unamusing Marl Steel introduced on last week’s HIGNFY as a “left wing comedian” was the last straw. OK so Hislop suddenly came on fire re Leveson/Press Control and there was a joke about Mehdi Hasan – but notice Steel and Merton didn’t join in.

As Will Self has said the prospect of Merton and Hislop sounding off against bankers and assorted “fatcats”  is a bit rich when you consider they get paid several thousands of taxpayers money per programme and both must be raking in very generous six figure incomes (and using perfectly “legal” tax avoiding strategies).

Add  the regiment of left wing “comedians” who pop up on HIGNFY and scores of other panel shows and you have an overwhelming barrage of left groupthink moulded along Guardian/BBC lines bombarding us practically every evening.

So, time to pitch a new “concept” panel show to BBC/ITV/Ch4. Usual studio set up, long bench, MC in the middle, arselicking fawning audience laughing at every remark as if THEY ARE, LIKE, JUST THE FUNNIEST EVAH….

But, with a different panel..

MELANIE PHILLIPS

DOUGLAS MURRAY

DAVID STARKEY

DANIEL HANNAN

All chaired by NIGEL FARAGE…

It would be called MTL….Mock The Left…because the constant target would be the beloved icons of the left…Atheists, the EU, the UN, Barack Obama, Greenpeace, Hamas, Hollywood. Kirsty Wark etc. Points would be given for biggest Lie, the worst example of Hypocrisy and the most barefaced manifestation of Outrageous Outrage emanating from the North London chattering classes. A permanent feature of each show would be three balloons bearing the faces of Polly Toynbee, John Prescott and George Monbiot. Every week each balloon would be pricked to great cheers from the audience after a particularly pompous and self opinionated quote from the appropriate individual.

The show would end with a classic pseuds corner extract from the arts pages of The Guardian and the paper would then be burned and stuffed down a toilet to great cheers from the audience…

OK BBC/ITV/Ch4……I’m waiting for your call…..

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01 December
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The Best Solution For Charlotte Church & All Her Celebrity Mates – And Me As Well….Just Keep Them Out Of The Media Completely!!!!!

I am not alone – at least one other person is not particularly impressed by Charlotte Church’s complaints about the media.

During BBC Question Time last night this lady, just an ordinary member of the audience, had the temerity to interrupt Charlotte in full flow

Last night an unnamed audience member aimed a barbed comment at her and said that celebrities who court the press should not be surprised if they are targeted.
‘The man in the street I accept shouldn’t be persecuted, but some celebrities go out for notoriety and press and some of them ask for what they get,’ the woman in yellow said.

Chalotte was shocked SHOCKED that she should be accused of “courting” the press. Twitter was alight with supporters who rushed to the defence of the newest feminist icon. CC waxed angrily about her family to the lady and when she tried to reply David Dimbleby shut her up and moved swiftly on.

Actually I tend to agree with the “unnamed audience member”. Like many celebrities Church has never hesitated to use the media to boost her own career and her public conduct has sometimes been dramatic. I take her point about impact on her family but the very nature of modern celebrity shines a spotlight on the immediate circle and there are always temptations for family and friends to dine out on the link, especially if there is some sort of grievance.

Maybe it’s time to reconfigure this whole concept of “celebrity” for it has taken over our media – look at the TV chat shows and the papers. Editors and producers no longer have to think hard about content – the PR hacks provide them with off the shelf fillers for peanuts…manna from heaven when the bosses are slashing costs. Get rid of the real journalism because that is time consuming and expensive – just get celebrity X on screen or on page to puff their latest film/book/album/show while the host/interviewer pretends to be totally fascinated.

So here’s a suggestion that will kill two birds with one stone – get the intrusive media off celebrity backs and clear my tv screen/paper of meaningless moronic pap at the same time. Just show the singers/actors/players doing what they are supposed to do – AND NO MORE!!!! Get rid of the chat shows and gossip pages, and use the money saved to bring back some good old fashioned journalism…

…and if you don’t have enough material to fill the schedule bring back the potters wheel, a damn sight more interesting than hearing some washed up hasbeen trying to kick start their fading famefest by yattering on about their latest project.

Job done.

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02 November
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BBC Director Of News Helen Boaden And Her Climate Change “Dodgy Dossier”

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News, gets paid £340,000 per annum. Every penny of that comes out of our pockets and purses via the poll tax (aka TV Licence). In 2006 she authorised a meeting of “climate change experts”. As a result of this meeting the BBC decided to abandon its golden rule of impartiality on the issue of climate change. Now that must have been some meeting so what was said and who were the people who said it?

Strangely, despite the fact that the meeting was partly financed by the taxpayer via the BBC, it has proved incredibly difficult to find out because Helen Boaden doesn’t want us to know. She thinks it is sufficient for us be aware that she and the rest of the BBC elite found the discussions at the 2006 meeting so convincing that they decided to classify the critics of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) as unworthy of equal consideration.

However, for six years the BBC has been fighting a Freedom of Information request to name the 28 people who so impressed Helen Boaden at the 2006 meeting. Currently lawyers for the BBC are trousering wads of taxpayer’s cash defending this stance at an Information Rights Tribunal. The person requesting the information, Tony Newbery, is merely represented by himself. Fortunately for Ms Boaden the presiding tribunal judge appears to have disallowed many of Mr Newbery’s questions.

I wonder how Ms Boaden would have reported such stonewalling when she was named “Radio Industrial Journalist and Campaigning Industrial Journalist of the Year by the Industrial Society in 1990 for her investigation into safety standards in the oil industry.”

How ironic that the BBC, which ferociously attacked the Blair government for being economical with the truth over the reasons for joining in with the American attack on Iraq, should now be unwilling to provide us with any hard evidence concerning an event which led them to break its longstanding tradition of impartiality.

The key fact, of course, is that much of the “evidence” for AGW has, in the years since 2006, has been undermined by some inconvenient truths. So much so, perhaps, that Helen Boaden would prefer to keep her own “dodgy dossier” safely under lock and key in the bowels of the BBC…..

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01 November
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I Am Sick And Tired Of “Celebrities”…..

Don’t get me wrong – the concept behind the annual Pride of Britain Awards is worthwhile.

The Pride of Britain Awards is an annual event in the United Kingdom, honouring Britons people who have acted bravely or extraordinarily in challenging situations.

Who can fail to be moved by the stories behind the recipients, young and old, as they come up to receive their award. Their actions are a refreshing antidote to the tawdry and shallow world routinely presented to us by the media – the world of “celebrities”. Indeed the Daily Mirror, sponsors of the event, makes a great play on this

In a celebrity-obsessed world, these are the only awards that get it right.
Yes, there is always an impressive array of celebrated names involved.But this is the one awards where they are presenting, not receiving……And it is reassuring to see that even our reverred stars become mere everyday mortals alongside the extraordinary acts of these ordinary people.

But if that’s the case – why the hell are these” celebrities” there at all? Why are they brought on stage, stealing the limelight from the recipients? Why is the camera forever cutting into the audience to focus on the famous faces in the audience?

Here’s a clue

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, our Awards attract an audience of around seven million viewers every year in a primetime slot on the ITV1 network in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – making it the highest rated awards show of its kind on British television.
It also receives huge coverage on Daybreak, the ITV1 network, the national press, national and regional radio and national magazines.
Many of the biggest names in showbusiness, sport and politics attend the glittering annual ceremony at the London Television Centre

You can hear the agent pointing out those words to the has-been pop singer planning his latest comeback, to the cynical comedian who got into trouble making jokes about “retards”, to the chat show regular recently filmed staggering drunkenly out of some nightclub……make certain you get some exposure on here…and for goodness sake stay sobre and look appropriately serious or tearful when the camera catches you.

Wherever we look on TV there are “celebrities” selling a book, pimping a show/film or pushing an album and the papers are full of their dysfunctional antics. Like showbiz people everywhere they are insanely jealous of anyone else competing in their genre yet, on screen they have to pretend to love each other.

Please, Daily Mirror and ITV, if the POB Awards are supposed to be a counter balance to “our celebrity-obsessed world” then why not produce a programme that focuses entirely on these extraordinary people themselves and GET RID OF THE CELEBRITIES ALTOGETHER!!!!

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30 October
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“Meaningless Media Executive” Ex BBC Boss Mark Thompson Will Fit In Perfectly At The New York Times…

He wore the uniform of the media class – tieless shirts, dark suits, closely shaved head and a permanent three-day beard – and was quite incapable of thinking outside the liberal mindset.

Such creatures are, of course, very expensive to run – but at least he will not be trousering money from UK taxpayers as he was at the BBC. Sounds like he is the perfect fit for the New York Times

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11 October
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Did The New CEO Of The New York Times Know About Child Sex Abuse Rumours Concerning BBC Star?

Remember how the soon to be installed CEO of “The New York Times” said he knew nothing about widespread long lived rumours of the sexual abuse of underage children committed by one of the BBC’s biggest stars, some of the abuse taking place on BBC premises?

Even when an item on a BBC current affairs programme investigating these rumours was pulled at the last minute…

Even when the go ahead was given a few days later to air a TV special celebrating the star’s life and saying what a wonderful wonderful guy he was…

Well, the plot thickens….

But yesterday Lord Patten – who said he himself first heard about the Savile allegations less than two weeks ago when he read about them in a newspaper – insisted Mr Thompson had been made aware of the Newsnight investigation last December by director of news Helen Boaden.
When asked to confirm that the former director-general knew about the investigation, he said: ‘Yes’.
His comments were later retracted by the BBC Trust, which said he ‘misspoke’ on the matter.

I wonder if any of those brilliant, sophisticated, right on, politically correct lovers of investigative journalism at the NYT will want to have a quiet word with Mr Thompson next time they are sipping their dry martinis?

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08 October
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I Knew Nothing About Allegations Of Abuse Of Underage Girls By BBC Star, Says Former BBC Boss Who Is About To Take Over As CEO Of The New York Times…

hhhhmmmm….former BBC Director General Mark Thompson, soon to take up his new job as CEO of the New York Times has just been asked a rather awkward question – how much did he know about the pulling of a BBC programme that investigated allegations that a top BBC star, Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011, was a serial abuser of underage girls.

Although the BBC pulled the programme their rivals at ITV aired a more extensive exposure a few days ago which has forced the BBC onto the back foot.
Thompson claims he had nothing to do with cancelling the Newsnight piece and was totally unaware of the rumours about Savile that had been circulating around the BBC for many years.

After Savile died on October 29 last year, Newsnight spent six weeks investigating allegations that he abused pupils from Duncroft school in Surrey at the height of his fame in the 1970s.
BBC journalists spoke to ten women who claimed they had been abused or had knowledge of abuse at the school, which shut in 1980.
But the investigation was never aired after Peter Rippon, editor of Newsnight, decided to abandon the broadcast in December, shortly before the BBC broadcast three tributes to Savile over Christmas.
After it was dropped, an angry BBC journalist is said to have cornered Mr Thompson at a Christmas drinks party in London to complain.

Thompson got the job at the NYT because of his reputation as a smooth operator with his finger on the pulse of his organisation – yet he claims to be totally oblivious of the implications for the BBC of the Savile programme being pulled.

That’s OK then…..

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14 May
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Britain’s Got Talent 2012 Public Vote – Old Fashioned Values Back In Fashion?

For the first time Britain’s Got Talent was not won by a singer or a dancer – but by a schoolgirl and the dog that sleeps under a sink in the family’s utility room – and though we were transfixed by the soaring operatic voices of Jonathan & Charlotte and our spines tingled with the passion of the Welsh boy’s choir we fell in love with Ashleigh and her dog Pudsey.

The public put those three acts top of the poll – a girl and her dog, two young people singing opera and a choir singing Welsh hymns. No rap, no hip hop, no street dancing, no pseudo Beyonces, it was almost revisiting the times of innocence in the 1950s…

The normally curmudgeonly and combative Jan Moir probably summed up the victory of Ashleigh and Pudsey best of all

what I love most about Pudsey and Ashleigh is the innocence. In the end, it is all about a teenage girl, her pet dog and the deep bonds forged between them as they grow up together.

Amen to that, Jan….

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