Thursday, 3 December 2009

Express repeats repeats story

The (ahem) 'World's Greatest Newspaper' is leading with the really crucial issues of the day again today.

More important than Obama's speech on extra troops for Afghanistan is the news that there will be some repeats on TV over Christmas.

A stunning revelation indeed.

Does the headline make sense? Not really. 'Christmas TV includes 600 hours of repeats' would be better. The way it is worded (with 'is') makes it sound as if 600 hours of repeats is all that is on.

The first version of this story to appear on the Express website - now removed - was so poor they hadn't even bothered to find a half-decent person to be outraged by this non-scandal.

Instead, they spared no expense in getting reaction from Mike Ward. Who?

Mike Ward, Daily Express TV critic


In the updated version, there are a couple of quotes from politicians which the Express appears to have swiped from the Telegraph, whose version of the story appeared online at 7:30am yesterday. That's how groundbreaking the Express' front page is.

But they have managed to get one new quote about how the BBC is a huge disappointment. Guess where from? Yes, it's Matthew Elliott from the TaxPayers' Alliance. Where would the tabloids be without them? Elliott splutters:

'churning out hundreds of hours of tired programming is unacceptable behaviour and will leave licence fee payers feeling ripped off. Christmas, more than any other time of the year, is when people want quality entertainment, and Auntie is currently falling far short of the mark.'

Tired repeats are something the quote-machines at the TPA know all about. It's not immediately obvious why they think the BBC has to be better at Christmas than the rest of the year - surely most right-minded people would rather they were better for 50 weeks of the year, rather than two?

As for falling short on quality entertainment, has Elliott not seen Life? In any two minutes of that incredible series you will find more that is informative, interesting and intelligent than in anything his ludicrously predictable, utterly humourless, kneejerk organisation has ever said or done.

The repeats figures themselves seem rather underwhelming. For one thing, the number of hours is actually 580, as the story reveals in the third paragraph.

Also, 580 hours of repeats over the five main channels over 14 days only equates to about a third of their output. Given that the repeats figure includes films, that doesn't seem that bad.

Besides, wouldn't the Express be the first to complain if shows such as Morecombe and Wise weren't shown? Wouldn't that be yet another sign that British traditions are under threat?

And isn't a bit rich for the Express - the Express - to complain of repeats? The paper that put Madeleine McCann conspiracy theories on the front page for around 90 consecutive days. That has put Diana on the front page with tedious regularity over the last 12 years. That reheats racist columns. That in the last few weeks has regurgitated cereal, tea and mushroom stories.

Oh and, err, which paper was it that in December 2008 was complaining about the number of repeats on television over Christmas?


  1. I'd accuse them of being hypocrites, but, y'know... hypocrisy is probably the least of their problems.

  2. ha! what a joke.
    do you know what is kind of sad though is that according to the express christmas and time off is good because of what is on TV. that christmas without good tv would be a disaster. how about turning off the tv and spending time with friends and family? when i was growing up, we didn't watch TV on xmas day (except doctor who the last couple of years!) - we got together as a family and spent time together.
    it's quite nice without the TV on.

    and, as you say, if the beeb didn't repeat classics like morecombe and wise nd the 2 ronnies the exprss would b bitching that all that is on these days "are multicultural left leaning no more good ole days i remember when tv was gold" bullshit that they are so fond of...

  3. Are we safe to assume then that Richard Desmond's porn channels will be showing nothing other than brand new, previously unseen scut throughout the festive period..?

  4. The merits of looking only at the five main channels are debatable too - especially given that the old analogue signal is now switched off in several areas.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.