Everyone needs a bit of mindless tat, and when it’s time to watch crap, Craig is an “I’m a Celebrity” man, and I would plump for Gogglebox. (If I was forced to choose.) But even mindless tat is not what it used to be. Tat has deteriorated. All that’s left is for you to just watch, mesmerised with incredulity at the sheer weirdness of, I dunno, other people. Are they even real? (as the archbishop said to the actress.)
The one with Jeremy Corbyn and Jessica Hynes was a dismal, chemistry-free zone. They didn’t connect, literally and figuratively. Why on God’s earth did she agree to do it?
Settling down to watch a bit of light entertainment the other night, I switched over to BBC One rather than watch the blitz programme on BBC 2, which hinted at lecture. I didn’t give it a chance because I wanted, nay, needed light-hearted escapism.
So, despite what Einstein or Weinstein said about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome, I sat through the third episode of Love, Lies and Records. (The first episode was so ridiculous that I abandoned ship halfway through) I just thought the second episode might be different. It wasn’t. Still, if the first episode was ridiculous and the second episode was completely off the scale of bonkers, I still gave the third episode a go. Bugger insanity.
Talk about being lectured to. I should have stayed with the bomb. I was being bombarded in any case - by an barrage of ‘trans’ and ‘same-sex-marriage’ advocacy.
The heroine’s elastic sense of cultural and moral tolerance and over-developed righteousness is coupled with a spot of sexual and intra-office jealousy. In a moment of compassionate sentimentality she subverts a golden rule of HM Registry in accord with the wishes of a dying woman, even though said woman is already dead.
The ‘plot’ also features: suspected online grooming/ sexting/, illegal immigration/ sex trafficking/ murder/ adulterous shagging-in-the-cupboard/ man-to-woman transitioning/ a Jewish-gay wedding/ blackmail / other right-on stuff. Rebecca Front’s convincingly vengeful baddie commits what has become, officially, the most heinous crime of all. No, not the blackmail. Being ideologically opposed to same-sex marriage!
Help! Get me outta here!
The BBC has a habit of over-exposing certain personalities till they go out of fashion, whereupon they are cruelly dropped or sidelined. They must be in room 101.
Currently overloading the airwaves are the faces of Amol Rajan (He’s on everything, including being a guest judge on Celebrity Masterchef - how did he get that gig?) and Emma Barnett (she’s on everything).
Emma Barnett is all over everything everywhere, as per this piece in the Times (£)
She can be particularly annoying on Sunday Morning Live, but that is primarily down to the format of that show, and I have to say she was a big improvement on Tommy Sandhu who couldn’t even read aloud from a massive screen without adding his own personal touches to viewers’ texts and emails.
Anyway, our Emma made a big impression on the nation’s collective consciousness when she exposed one of Jeremy Corbyn’s weaknesses in her famous interview. The one when she “skewered Jeremy Corbyn" […] "ambushing him about his poor grasp of the figures”.
Her interviewing style on that occasion was persistent and forensic, rather than “hectoring for its own sake” as per some of her colleagues, whose line of questioning can be openly agenda-driven.
“She enjoys big-game hunting senior politicians, often using Paxman’s famous “repeat the question without mercy” tactic.” wrote Helen Rumbelow in the Times. (Said with apparent admiration.)
In my opinion that technique (repetition of a question that the interviewer believes can only produce an incriminating answer) is the worst, most unproductive approach ever created. It was unpleasant enough when Paxman used it on Michael Howard, but when Mishal “How many Israelis” Husain appropriated it during her ill-tempered interrogation of Gill Hoffman, it said far more about the interviewer than the interviewee.
Similarly, when Andrew Marr addressed Benjamin Netanyahu I thought he approached the interview with a visible agenda, i.e., he set out from a position sympathetic to the Palestinian cause (as he sees it) with the intention of “challenging” Netanyahu.. He was clearly not concerned with the business of ‘drawing out’ the Prime Minister of Israel by letting him state his case, for good or bad. He was much more concerned with burnishing his own image for the benefit of the anti-Israel consensus.
There is one abiding mystery, which remains baffling, and - to coin a phrase - “I’m not the one saying this” - which is this. Why oh why don’t heavyweight interviewers like Andrew Marr tackle John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn robustly, forensically and persistently - about the antisemitism in the Labour Party? And about their own antisemitism for that matter. Yes, admittedly some of your ‘Andrews’ have been known to tentatively broach the subject, but are too easily fobbed of with the ‘we oppose racism in all its forms’ nonsense.
Did you know that the Israeli PM offered to send Israel’s rapid response team to help the victims of the Iranian/ Iraqi earthquake? The offer was refused. We never hear about that any more. Has it gone away?
The first episode of Kate Humble’s series “Extreme Wives” was riveting and it received well-deserved, extremely positive reviews. Oddly enough I couldn't find any reviews of episode two, the one about Haredi Jews in Jerusalem. Not a squeak.
However, I don’t think anyone had much reason to complain about that programme.
Kate Humble has gone up in my estimation. She has an enormous amount of charm and sincerity and she manages to win round the most uncooperative subjects with her genuinely respectful curiosity and huge smile. Somehow, one doesn’t expect to find, on the BBC, a Jerusalem dwelling Haredi family presented with accepting inquisitiveness; for once, we have a ‘presenter-led show’ that wasn’t ‘all about me”.
It went down well on Twitter, with a minimum amount of political point-scoring. So it’s all good.
Fancy volunteering for a reality show? On the BBC? On a Kibbutz? You don’t even have to eat pigs’ testicles, (but you might have to face the wrath of Roger Waters.
Neither Roger Waters nor Jeremy Corbyn have an antisemitic bone in their bodies. Who knew.