Report: "Britons 'want Del Boy TV return'"

  • 1/14/2008 12:40:00 am
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

No no no no no.

For reasons known only to them, polling company OnePoll have asked 3000 Britons which TV programme they would like to see brought back to our screens. Neatly ignoring the fact that if you were to stop someone in the street and ask them "which television programme would you like to see return to our screens" they're actually going to just tell you what their favourite TV programme is, they arrived at the following list of shows.
  1. Only Fools and Horses
  2. Friends
  3. Fawlty Towers
  4. Brookside
  5. Sex and the City
  6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  7. Monty Python
  8. The Krypton Factor
  9. Big Breakfast
  10. Absolutely Fabulous
Now, it's a pretty universally held belief that programmes 1, 2, 4, 9 and 10 all went out with a critical whimper after being long past their best. There's a reason there's a shelf full of unsold Friends Season Nine DVDs reduced to a pound in our local Home Bargains. Bringing back Monty Python or Fawlty Towers after so long would clearly be pointless and underwhelming - remember the 'new' Python sketches during 1999's Python Night? Thought not. Buffy and Sex and the City pretty much ran their course, and there are literally dozens upon dozens of episodes on DVD for fans of both shows to be going on with.

(Top Tip: A great way to annoy fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is to cheerfully say that you don't really like it, and that you much preferred the film.)

That leaves The Krypton Factor, which would undoubtedly still work as a format. We can't help but feel if ITV were to bring it back to our screens, it would be depressingly lumbered with the prefix "Celebrity", because we're incapable of enjoying a gameshow format from the 1980s unless Fiona Phillips and Shane From Westlife are somehow involved. And the part where contestants solve a three-dimensional perspex puzzle just wouldn't be worth screening in 2008 unless it's Jocelyn Jee Esien doing it in character as her spleen-rupturingly hilarious traffic warden character, clearly.

Seeing as how you didn't even ask, here's our tuppence on the matter. Those programmes are in the past, and while they're still very enjoyable, it's time to move on. Why not pressure television commissioners into producing some brand new classic shows? Stop wasting money on shows that promise to be edgy but turn out to be offensively rubbish like Marc Cunting Wootton Exposed. The success of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who prove that traditional formats still have appeal, so why not try coming up with a new prime-time entertainment show that doesn't fit any particular 'demographic', but is just good. Remember 'good'? It's what Morecambe and Wise were. It's what The Two Ronnies were. And it's not what TittyBangBang is.

Basically, the point of all this is that the BBC should commission a big-budget sketch comedy and variety show starring Tim Vine and Lee Mack, to go out at 8pm on Friday nights. Twelve million viewers by the end of the second series, guaranteed. Look, if they try it and it doesn't work, we'll admit we're wrong, but until then, we're saying we're right. There could even be an extended sketch set at a cocktail party guest starring Philip Glenister. Can't fail.

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