Scariest Thing On Telly This Christmas? The BBC HD Preview Loop.

  • 12/22/2008 11:03:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Ever concerned about the needs of their viewers, the BBC have introduced a High Definition version of the test card.

Check out that linearity of the grey scale, there. Woo. There's only one problem with it.

They've also resampled the original image of Carole Hersee, so that even more of her terrifying clown is visible than ever. This means our childhood nightmares may return. The ones about switching over to a channel displaying the test card, only to see the hair of the clown fluttering ever so slightly, as if he's realised we were about to switch to him, and he quickly moved back into position. We edge nearer to the screen, checking to see if it's just our minds playing tricks. As our faces are now just inches from the screen, the clown's head snaps suddently to face us head on, his felt eyes burning a message of sheer unimaginable hatred into our now panicked faces, his evil, knowing smile somehow becoming even more sinister.

We back away, now noticing that the photo of the girl isn't actually a photo either, rather she's frozen utterly stiff, her eyes flickering frantically, her hand now slowly making minute circles on the blackboard, desperately trying to write the word "help" with the chalk. But the girl doesn't have the chalk in her hand any more. The Clown has taken the chalk. She won't be writing anything.

We flick to Granada, in a vain attempt to make it go away. Maybe Jobfinder can save us. No, wait, that's crazy talk. This can't be happening. It's lack of sleep. Surely. We flip back to BBC-1, to try and put our minds at rest. Only now the clown has gone, the game of noughts and crosses now abandoned, the poor girl still petrified in both senses of the word. Is she trying to signal something to us with her eyes? Her pupils are gesturing toward the curtain. But, before we can look, there is the faintest patter of clothy stumps. We turn, to see the curtain twitch almost imperceptibly. Utterly shaking with fear and with clammy hands, we inch toward the curtain. It can't be. It couldn't possibly be. It was probably the cat. It must be the cat. It has to be the cat. Didn't our mum let the cat out earlier?

"I am made of felt and I haven't got any legs or feet. I just have these two stumps and a piece of chalk. But I'm still going to GET YOU."

So now, all that, in glorious 1080p. Yeah, thanks a frigging bunch, the BBC.

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