Friday, 27 March 2009

Not even Sky could take it in the end ...

I fear it is just about on Five's level, and Ofcom's inaction is not good news, though the sight and sound of Edmonds in full "Stand Up and Be Counted" mode should - hopefully - make them shudder at the implications of such a thing being in almost every home in the UK, rather than merely those who choose to give Murdoch their money.


  1. I certainly wouldn't put it past Five to give the nutter a platform (and it would be more of a platform, Five being on Freeview - i for example would be able see it).

    To be honest, I doubt that a terrestrial HQ would gain much more than a hardcore Daily Mail/The Sun audience (admittedly far too high a percentage of the public); fans of his more innocuous buffoonery would doubtless tune in, but I doubt they would stick it out to the bitter end.

  2. I've never bothered with Five at all, seemingly for good reason. When it started I couldn't get it terrestrially (you needed Sky analogue to receive it round here back then) and I looked at the schedules with a certain "glad I'm out of this" smugness. When we got Sky digital in 2001, I continued (as I have throughout the following eight years) to blissfully ignore it, safe in the knowledge that it is alien to me and me to it. It may be different in areas where it was available on analogue from the start, so everyone had it, but to me it still feels like an "extra" channel - a glorified satellite offering with a few tokenistic tabloid-style news bulletins - and certainly not like an established, authoritative channel, the reputation the "original four" still (with ever-diminishing justification) live off. It was launched far too late to ever feel any other way, really.

    It might have gone otherwise had the project not been suspiciously postponed in 1992 after Thames Television had proved to be the only bidders. Ironically, the channel's current owners, the pan-European media group RTL, are part of the same conglomerate as Fremantle which owns the Thames archive, hence their very, very occasional Thames reruns. RTL, every bit as much as the present-day Champions' League, is a major agent of the Americanisation of Europe: in all the countries where it runs channels under its own name, it has a reputation for being what Americophiles watch while ignoring the established, national broadcasters, much as Sky has over here (and, of course, it grew out of the radio station without whose fuzzy signals - emanating from the opposite direction geographically to that they came from psychologically - the take-up of rock'n'roll in the UK post-Suez might have been much slower and more limited).

  3. Oh, incidentally, am I right in assuming you don't have the December 1992 issue of Sight and Sound, the one with the full details of that year's critics' and directors' poll? I have found myself with a duplicate copy, moderately embarrassingly ...