Friday, March 04, 2005

Andrew Neil dumbs down

Thursday night and I settle down to watch This Week on BBC1. It's the best political programme on television, I often tell people. Andrew Neil and the Michael Portillo/Denise Abbot double act. Unbeatable.

Not tonight.

They had a feature on house arrest, taking the angle that the general public don't see what all the fuss is about. A legitimate approach. But who did they choose to put the view of the man in the street.

Paul Ross.

Paul Ross???

It is hard to think of anyone who is less in touch with ordinary people. Ross speaks in stage school cockney and his whole life is lived on television or trying to get on television. Turn the set off and he no longer exists.

He is or has been the compere of All Over the Shop, A Slice of the Action, Endurance UK, It's Anybody's Guess, Jeopardy!, Life's a Punt, Mind the Gap, Tellystack, Upshot and You Don't Say.

His appearance on any programme is a guarantee that it will be crap. You settle down to watch Jimmy Carr's 100 Greatest Top 100 Shows on Channel 4 and up he pops. "Blue Peter was for posh kids. We watched Magpie."

Only someone working in television could think that Paul Ross is qualified to speak for the general public. In reality, anyone else living in Britain today would have been a better, more representative choice. And that includes Basil Brush.

I don't blame Ross for appearing - as one of the BBC's own sites says He "has been known to say 'I'll do absolutely anything in TV for the money'."

I do blame Neil for inviting him.

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