Channel Tunnel Vision.

It’s probably just me. I would have thought most people have meaningful things to do with their lives rather than sit whinging at the TV like a simpleton recreating ‘Gogglebox’ without the cameras. Normally ITV would occupy the bottom spot on my list of crappiest big TV channels but recently they have somehow managed to be gently elevated to make space for Channel 4. For a start they’re showing a programme tonight all about Heston Blumenheck and his special mission to shovel food down Major Tim Peake’s gullet, as he destroys good money out in space. If you read Friday’s post you’ll know I have serious issues with HB and although watching all 90 minutes of it might just give me a stroke I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve just seen the trailer for it and even ‘the wife’ (who’s far more forgiving than I) has an issue with his glasses. We’re (well actually just me, ‘the wife’ has aggressively hastened to add) not sure if he wears them as a statement or whether he deliberately wants to look like he has learning difficulties, in which case it’s an insult to all people with learning difficulties.

My recent ire with Channel 4 started when they re-jigged their title scenes from being a bit ponsy to being so thoroughly twatish they make my heart flutter. And not in a good way. You know the ones, with the explosion and the men in white suits and masks and the mite under a microscope and the magnetic blocks which almost make something tangibly recognisable. At first I didn’t get it and Channel 4 must have felt really clever about that. Then I thought I got it. Then I was sure I had it but couldn’t work out whether I had the right thing. And then, finally, I entered the phase I’m in now which is hating it and not really giving a toss what it means because it clearly took a lot of wankers and money to make something that awful. It is arguably the most pretentious, meaningless thing on any channel right now (with HB) and I would have happily dropped a nest of angry wasps into the ‘creative gathering’ that came up with it all.

Other dreadful things Channel 4 have done in recent history? They’ve taken on Formula 1. In some ways that’s good because it means there’s room freed up on the BBC that they might just try and fill with a good programme. However by paying lord knows how much for the contract Channel 4 have unwittingly renewed a forum on television for the least interesting ‘sport’ ever. Everything about it is rubbish and it gives a living to two people who really shouldn’t be allowed any oxygen of publicity; Bernie Ecclestone, a person so preposterous he looks like he’s just stepped off the set of ‘Labyrinth’, and Lewis Hamilton who dresses as if he’s just stepped off the set of a fucked up version of ‘Back To The Future 2’ and is a serious contender for the most tedious homo-sapien in history. I saw him being interviewed once and felt suitably obliged to start writing my will.

They also show a programme called ‘Fresh Meat’ which I dislike not because it’s not very funny but because it has Jack Whitehall in it. Whitehall is whatever the opposite of funny is. The fact he has fans is merely a sign that we’re willing to allow any kind of crap to pretend it’s entertainment these days. There isn’t a figure out there that comes close to the number of times I would watch him having his head flushed down a toilet. Oh and I should also give a moments consideration for ‘Come Dine With Me’ in all its permutations. This is ‘the wife’s’ default programme and is always on when I’m out and then for a little bit when I get back. I used to quite like it but it’s just turned very dull. The contestants are either pleasant and tedious or horrid and tedious and the chap who does the voiceover ran out of amusing things to sneer long, long, long ago. Though you could equally apply that to this.

Things that Channel 4 do that are good? The news is still just about credible, certainly compared to the horrors churned out by the others. ‘First Dates’ keeps wanting to become crap but somehow shines through despite being home to the world’s worst philosopher of love. ‘Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners’ is always worth a look, as is ‘Travel Man’, and Alan Carr is far funnier than he has the right to be. That said it’s moved to Thursday for some reason and this week’s upcoming guest list features a gaggle of pricks that includes Ricky Wilson, (don’t get me started!!!!!!) and, of course Jack Whitehall. So I might give that a miss.

There. All done. And to think I just wanted to say a few more words about Heston. I dare you to watch that space food programme tonight and not come away thinking he may just be Britain’s biggest nob-head. Go on. I double dare you.

G B Hewitt. 20.03.2016


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