We'll Say It Again: Pain

  • 12/04/2007 11:07:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Given our position of Britain's favourite telly blog that was once described as "gleefully acerbic" by the BBC website's pull-out culture section (if by "favourite" you mean "only", that is), you'd expect us to dance a little jig of joy every time ITV mess something up. But you'd be wrong. It kind of hurts.

As hard as it might be to remember those dim distant days, but ITV used to be great. There was a time when ITV gave the world (yes, the world) programmes as good as The Naked Civil Servant. Rising Damp. Brideshead Revisited. Cracker. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Tiswas. Hot Metal. World in Action. An Audience With Jasper Carrott. Prime Suspect. End Of Part One. Spitting Image. Minder. Dangermouse. Jeeves and Wooster. The Kenny Everett Video Show. TV Burp.

ITV was the network that commissioned The Avengers, the last British television programme to be broadcast on American network television.

ITV was the network that commissioned The Muppet Show, which went on to become the most successful British television show of all time.

ITV was the network that made The World At War, the most acclaimed and arguably the greatest television documentary series of all time.

ITV was the network behind 7 Up, quite possibly one of the greatest social experiments of the modern era.

ITV was the network that played host to four, that's FOUR different vehicles for Tony Hancock (Jack Hylton presents The Tony Hancock Show, Hancock, The Blackpool Show and Hancock's), and doesn't even go on about it. Sadly, because surely that's what ITV3 is there for.

At 10pm on the sixth of December 2007, all of the above is unceremoniously spunked up the wall of television history.

We don't care that the above image messes up the template of the blog. That it probably obscures the link to all the stuff we wrote between January and May 2006. Because the image we've not bothered to resize properly displays the moment where ITV finally give up the good fight. Where Britain's Independent Television Network finally gives up the ghost and decides the broadcasting equivalent of "Ah, to fuck with it. I can just quit my day job, get a load of cheap vodka from Netto, lie in my bed in an alcohol-induced stupor all day, and just toss off occasionally. Lying in a matted combination of my own piss, shit, spunk and vomit, failing to care, barely remembering to breathe, shifting only to shuffle my way to the dole office every other week. What's the point? What's the bloody point?"

Thursday. 10pm. "How To Get More Sex: Keen to demonstrate the power of smell in attracting a mate, celebrities were asked to identify which out of three T-shirts smelled the most attractive. One had been worn by a man, one by a woman, and one by a kuhne kuhne pig - which gives some very interesting results."

It's the timeslot that really gets to us. It's not being shown at 1.35am, the slot that was home to God's Gift or The Good Sex Guide. It's at 10pm, the traditional home to News At Ten. The same hour that used to be home to This Week. It's not even that we're being annoyingly pretentious and pseudo-intellectual about the whole affair. Heavens, we can't help but giggle at the word 'ploppy'. Will Self is hardly shaking in his expensive boots when we're in the room. Not that we're ever in the same room as Will Self. Unless he visits the Flint branch of Home Bargains while we're there stocking up on cheap biscuits.

Of course, maybe we should sit back and enjoy the ride. We don't even watch much ITV1 these days, unless TV Burp or the Champions League is on. We should just relax on our sofa, and giggle smarmily at ourselves while we flick through our EPG to find the following:

ITV1 Schedule: 28th November 2008.

20.00 The Bill
21.00 Drama With Lots Of Murders In
22.00 How To Get Loads Of Fanny And That
23.00 ITV News
23.01 Watch This Programme And Michael Grade Will Send You A Free iPod Shuffle
23.30 That Film Where You Can See Halle Berry's Tits For About Three Seconds (Clue: That Bit'll Happen At 00.37. See Looping Repeats Of The Tits Scene On ITV.com)
01.45 QuizGasm Live

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