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Panorama…Jimmy Saville What the BBC knew

23 Oct

Panorama yesterday delved into the increasingly murky world of  who knew what about  Jimmy Savile at the BBC, the organisation that propelled him into uber-stardom, and it seems also provided him with a ‘hunting ground’ for his depraved activities.

It came on the back of the controversy  over the revelation that  BBC  shelved an investigation into Jimmy Savile  by its Newsnight programme  seemingly in favour of a fulsome tribute to the man we now know to be one of the worst sexual molesters ever unearthed in the UK.

Even more shocking are the reasons being given for dropping the programme.  A reporter who worked on the Newnight investigation Liz MacKean  claims in an e-mail referring to Peter Rippon the Newsnight editor.

 ”Having commissioned the story, Peter Rippon keeps saying he’s lukewarm about it and is trying to kill it by making impossible editorial demands.

“When we rebut his points, he resorts to saying: well, it was 40 years ago…the girls were teenagers, not too young…they weren’t the worst kind of sexual offences etc.

“He hasn’t warned BBC1 about the story, so they’re beavering away on the special, oblivious.”

The big question is – Is this  the whole matter  a cockup or  a coverup.  Is this symptomatic of a gross institutional failure or a naive attempt to bury a festering bag of worms?

Channel 5 – Terrestial TVs enfant terrible has come of age…

13 Oct

The Easter weekend of 1997 saw the launch of the UK’s fifth terrestial Channel, tapping in to the zeitgeist of the time it was launched by the Spice Girls.

After the fanfare and publicity of the launch the real work started and this meant fighting for audience share with the four existing terrestrial channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4) as well as an ever increasing number of satellite and cable channels.

The battle was fierce, their well-funded terrestrial competitors with a customer base built up over decades were not going to be dislodged easily and the initial audience figures showed this with Channel 5 languishing with only 2.3% of the viewing audience.

In the chase for audience share the channel gradually morphed into what the tabloids christened Channel Filth or as a programming executive of Channel 5 was quoted when describing their programming output as  three F’s,  football, films and what can be best described as the present continuous tense of the f-word.

The style of programming reached its zenith in 2000 with the infamous reality TV show ‘Naked Jungle’ which introduced us not only to totally naked contestants but distressingly a totally naked host, Keith Chegwin.  The show almost ended Chegwin’s career and unleashed a wave of moral outrage against Channel 5.

Channel 5 has moved on from those dire days the football is still there occasionally, there are still films, but the third F is now  F for Foreign TV shows and good quality shows as well.  The CSI franchise, Law & Order, House MD, The Shield, Breaking Bad, The Mentalist  have introduced great US TV shows to the UK and have seen a solid and sustained rise in Channel 5’s audience share.

Are you a fan of Channel 5? What’s your best programme?

The Queen of Food Erotica is back

24 Sep

Nigella Lawson is back. Some people have labelled her the queen of Food Porn, but that would suggest what she was offering was brash, vulgar and in your face so to speak.

Despite the liberal use of words like “luscious”, “indulgent, ‘lip-puckering”,”squishy” and filmed in soft rich colours Nigella’s new series on BBC2 – Nigellissima – is as with her previous shows, beautifully presented with mouth watering dishes.

As the name suggests it focuses on Italian cuisine and this introduced me to something I had never heard of before – a Meatzza.

It might sound like something you would get from you local Doner Kebab shop after a night out, but in Nigella’s hands it became a fragrant delicately presented plate of Tuscan delight. A tribute to her ability to make pretty much anything sound desirable..Long live the Queen.