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Monday, April 23, 2007

"That's all we've got time for"

The to-do about GMTV's competition winners keeps coming back and the air is thick with high dudgeon. But this doesn't appear to have been motivated by the desire to fleece the public so much as TV's all-consuming need to control everything. They can't have just anyone coming on their air because, well, there might be all kinds of lunatics out there. Nothing in the real world ever quite comes up to TV's expectations, which is why it fiddles everything. It can't simply cover a subject without taking it over and trying to bend it for its own convenience. Most of TV's transgressions are committed in the name of smoothness and polish. I have been trying to find a clip of that ancient Comic Strip film about the Miners Strike. The director and art director stand in the middle of the main street of a genuine mining town. The latter casts a jaundiced eye over the video store and the Chinese takeaway, sighs and says "Well, it doesn't say 'mining town' to me." That's TV.

7 comments:

  1. GMTV don't mind a few 'unusual' people on telly when Keith Chegwin's doling out a £20,000 cheque in a Bolton living room, do they? That's because they'll have made a humungously big sum of wonga from it.

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  2. I sure this is partly true but the shed loads of cash they were making no doubt clouded their vision some what.

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  3. I feel bad about the fact that we never actually gave away Barney Sumner's guitar at the NME. It's not that we gave out a false winner's name, or deprived the actual winner, we just never got round to choosing or announcing them. I can't remember if the staffer who took it home has gone public yet or not, so I won't say.

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  4. The staffer has indeed gone public. See page 305 of 'Cider With Roadies' by one S.Maconie.

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  5. Another part of my youth sullied, you wouldn't believe how long me and my mate took choosing particulary large postcards in order to increase our chances of winning.

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  6. A magazine of low repute I used to work for regularly distributed competition "prizes" around the office. One young chap - now at a major national newspaper - went home with a La-Z-Boy recliner once. An old editor of mine and his girlfriend went to New York for the weekend after she "won" a prize in his magazine...

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  7. Anonymous12:59 pm

    Ah - life imitating art report: a BBC detective series films at a particular university campus a lot. They had an episode set in a library, but when scouting the university library decided it didn't look right, so built their own in a hall instead.

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