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January 4th, 2012:

Will the agony never end?

I heard on the car radio yesterday that ITV1 is reprising “Dancing on Ice”.

Here is the misfit’s parade of hasbeens and neverbeens who shall risk broken ankles for our “entertainment”…

1. Charlene Tilton.
Lucy Ewing from Dallas.

2. Corey Feldman.
Former “Goonie” and “Lost Boys” vampire hunter from the age when Coreys ruled the world. You might know it as the ’80s.

3. Heidi Range.
Former Sugababe who “was once ranked ’94th sexiest woman in the world’ by FHM.” (out of 100). ITV1 presumably couldn’t afford #93 after they’d paid Antndec’s salary. If that entity were assasinated Cameron would have to abandon Newcastle to “managed decline”.

4. Chesney Hawkes.
“The One and Only (hit)” himself. I once walked past him in a street in Edinburgh after he was famous. I was there as a visitor to the festival and so was he.

5. Laila Morse.
“Big Mo” from “EastEnders”. And yes she is big. I do worry about mass and inertia in a very low friction environment here. Forget about lifting – this lady is not for turning.

6. Rosemary Conley.
A maker of fitness videos that would put the most hormonally challenged teenage boy on the slack.

7. Sam Nixon…
…finished third in 2003′s Pop Idol. Clearly couldn’t get a panto slot at the local community centre this year.

8. Jennifer Ellison.
“Brookside” ‘actress’ until 2003. And if that isn’t barrel-scrapping she also got to #6 with a cover of a Transvision Vamp song and other than that, “Baby I Don’t Care”.

9. Andy Akinwolere.
Former kids TV presenter. “In June 2011, he broke the world record for the deepest location for an open water swim, swimming five miles across the Pacific Ocean.” So he swam at the deep end. The last time I did any sea-swimming I was in a few metres of water off Malta or Key West where you can still drown. Hell, you can drown in 2″ of water (allegedly)! I mean having an abysmal trench doesn’t matter unless you’re ITV1 and then that’s your channel!

10. Matthew Wolfenden.
Former “Emmerdale” ‘actor’. “He has appeared in a reality show before, finishing ninth in Soapstar Superstar”.

11. Jorgie Porter.
“With a trademark head of white blonde hair, Porter is famous for playing Theresa McQueen in Channel 4′s “Hollyoaks”*.
She also appeared in ITV’s “Born To Shine”, losing out in the final to Jason Manford.”

12. Sébastien Foucan.
“Foucan is considered one of the founders of parkour”. Fair play except isn’t that a sort of concrete roots thing so doesn’t exactly have founders in the way that say the Royal Geological Society does? He was in a chase scene with Bond though.

13. Chemmy Alcott.
“Alcott is the current female British number one alpine ski racer.” Fair enough but do bear in mind that British skiing is like Belgian mountaineering.

14. Mark Rhodes.
“As the other half of Sam & Mark (the above Sam), Rhodes should provide some fierce competition for his co-presenter in Dancing on Ice”. He also appeared in Pop Idol, finishing second and losing out to Michelle McManus.” Michelle McManus -the mannatee of lurve.

15. Andy Whyment.
Whyment indeed!

So that is this season’s flagship show on ITV1. The Christmas schedules (not just ITV – all of them) were bad enough recycling garbage nostalgia from the past ad nauseum. “An Evening with Morecombe and Wise”? “An Audience with Dame Edna” – from 1980!? “Harry Potter and the Well-Milked Cash Cow”? It is clear to me that traditional broadcasting is strapped for cash and ideas. I suspect a causal relationship there and the ideas are prior to the cash. I have a radical idea and I mean real over the hills and far away blue sky thinking here. Why not get some good scripts for things like drama and comedy – you know the things that have been the mainstay of entertainment since Socrates took in a show? Last night I watched an episode of “Open All Hours” and it is sharper and funnier than anything the BBC have made since God knows when.

Regardless of if they take up my scheme I think we are seeing the death throes of broadcast TV. Or we should be. Very few people in the UK (unlike in say the Republic of Korea) have even the option of fast enough broadband to watch what they want when they want in HD. And no the government isn’t helping with it’s talk of a guaranteed 2Mb/s to the Outer Hebrides or whatever. A critical mass will occur – at least in some countries – where a TV is just a big screen for whatever and show producers sell to that market rather than have it via a “channel”. You doubt it? A similar thing has happened with music. For years the music industry (Tunificous dynosaurus) clung to the belief that the punters wouldn’t buy music unless they had a physical thing to clutter their shelves. Well the iPod saw to that didn’t it?

Until then there is always Dave…

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