Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nostalgia or dumbing-down?

I used to love a dreadfully naff TV show in the seventies called "It's a Knockout", known in other countries as "Jeux sans Frontieres". Towns like Milton Keynes and Cumbernauld selected their finest youths to participate in mock gladiatorial combat with the likes of Frankfurt and Toulouse. The "games" featured giant inflatable rabbits, lots of water and revolving things. Comentary came from the peerless Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall. I thought it was a thing of the past.

But last night I turned on the telly in the early evening, to be faced with the image of six "celebrities" in baco-foil suits, looking like six assorted oven-ready chickens. Standing next to a pool of water, they were encouraged to adopt weird body shapes to avoid being knocked into the said pool by a polystyrene wall. Dale Winton shouted encouragement. I rubbed my eyes, but the show continued.

I'm not particularly fussed. Afte all, watching Vanessa Feltz taking an unforced bath was quite funny. I wonder if other shows might get reprised. Seaside Special? Challenge Anneka?

Maybe there aren't many new ideas at the BBC. Maybe the programme commissioners are all nostalgic. Anyway, I turned over and watched "You've been framed". Much more sophisticated.

No comments: