That’s the amount of repeats we are being subjected to this Christmas. That’s not over all the multitude of terrestrial and digital channels. Just the four main channels. 24 days of unoriginal, dredged up, bottom of the barrel entertainment to keep us enthralled over the festive period.
Years ago, this would be a golden time for British television. We would have a dry spell in the build up, but then we would be hit between the eyes with several big hitters of shows. It wasn’t just that they were big, but they were new. Fresh from the writer’s pen, a delight of good writing, big name actors and fine acting. What did ITV have to offer on Christmas day this year? An ‘All star Mr & Mrs Christmas Special’ followed by Inspector fucking Poirot. As for BBC2, they presented us with a cutting edge selection of Dad’s Army, Blackadder the Third, a Top Gear repeat and a couple of old men drinking wine and passing wind. Channel Four had a repeated documentary, a repeated Alternative Christmas message, a repeated comedian’s DVD for Christmas performance and a monosyllabic magician standing still inside a giant ice cube (Repeated from the year 2000).
In fairness, BBC1 had a new Royle Family and Gavin & Stacy, but that hardly passes for a night to remember. Why is it such a pitiful offering? Why are the major channels not making new and interesting programmes of note and merit? If you’re interested in the answer, there’s a very thought-provoking article here http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2009/10/why-britain-cant-do-the-wire/ If you’re not interested in reading it, I dare say you could just as easily pass your time by turning on the old goggle box and relaxing to half an hour of One man and his dog, or a repeated twelve year old topical news quiz.