You Can't Spell 'Pointless Rebranding' Without 'PR'

  • 10/12/2008 10:59:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Editor's Note: The following press release has been slightly re-edited to reflect what everyone is actually thinking.

  • UKTV has confirmed that its People and Documentary channels will be the first in its factual lineup to be pointlessly rebranded in order to remind everyone that they exist.

    As with its channels in the 'good' EPG slots, which were renamed (after a fashion) from UK Gold and UK Arena into Watch, G.O.L.D. and Alibi, People and Documentary will become Blighty and Eden respectively in early 2009. Possibly because all the programmes about people were actually documentaries, and all the documentaries were about people, so they were really rather silly and indistinctive channel names in the first place.

    "Eden and Blighty will shake up and re-invigorate the factual section of the EPG with clearly defined channel brands that deliver very compelling promises to viewers," said UKTV controller Matthew Littleford. "Oh, we'll grant you that you'll still see 30% of each day's schedule taken up by repeats of 'Ray Mears: Bushcraft', but there'll probably be a new clip show of highlights on launch night. 'Ray Mears: The Full Craft Of The Bush", something like that. And if we're really lucky, we'll collar Michael Palin for a ten-minute interview as well. We'll soon drag that out to a two-hour 'best of Michael Palin'.

    "The re-brands will ensure UKTV becomes as well known for its factual content as it is for Dave and Watch and establish us as the factual market leaders in pay TV. And hey, if the ratings need a bit of bulking up, we can always shove a load of Top Gear repeats onto Blighty, and then issue a self-congratulatory press release about how excellent we all are. Result.

    "Speaking of which, Blighty captures the spirit of contemporary Britain and all its nuances. This is a country where our national dish is chicken tikka massala, where graffiti sells for a small fortune and where an Essex couple get 50,000 visitors to a Hindu shrine in their spare bedroom. And if that doesn't appeal to our viewers, expect loads and loads of documentaries about Spitfires and 'Booze Britain'. Hey, if nothing else it'll be a nice change from all the redubbed documentaries on Discovery."

    The name Eden was chosen because it "gives viewers the opportunity to gorge on breathtaking programmes that celebrate the sheer magnitude and wonder of our world. Oh, alright then, it's where we'll be shoving all our redubbed imported documentaries," admitted Jane Mote, UKTV's director of factual, lifestyle and new media.

    "And yes, giving UK Gold another stupid new name and then insisting continuity announcers refer to it as "Gee-oh-el-dee" all the time was a rubbish idea," giggled Matthew Littleford.

Key fact: The fact that UKTV are about to rename two channels as "Blighty" and "Eden" has been left untouched. Just as well, as it's pretty much beyond parody.

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