The Sunday Telegraph has a feature article about the latest phone-in ‘scandal’ at the BBC. Is it me or are they acting like rabbits in the proverbial headlights? With the recent editing problems, they seem to be taking reality television to new levels by beating themselves up about the fact that not everything in TV is exactly as in real life.
People have lost their jobs because they ignored the winning entry in a competition to name the new Blue Peter cat and called it “Socks” instead of “Cookie”. Management have been quoted as saying that it is unfair on youngsters to ignore their wishes. Further examination suggests that it is because there was a suspicious late surge for Cookie and that this might have lewd connotations for some youngsters. Sounds like a biscuit to me, but then I haven’t been a child for a while. Nonetheless, I would have thought that this would be easy to investigate. In 1962 Blue Peter introduced a dog called Petra. The dog that eventually died in 1970 was not Petra as the original had died soon after its first appearance and was replaced by a near-identical dog. The BBC did not see fit to sack Peter Purves or anyone else at this time.
What is more of a issue to be clamped down on is why children were still able to telephone and be charged after the decision was made. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the production team to close the line, making it impossible for people to get through. This is incompetence that simply plays on the latest craze of phoning into every television show possible, thus enriching the telecoms companies that handle the calls.
Now, unless the BBC can tell me how they got those hippos to swim in a circle, I want a refund on my telly licence!