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Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Broadcast assistant on line one"

The leader pages of today's papers are largely devoted to the curious business of the BBC and the competitions that were fixed. The Guardian argues that some mitigation might be found for programmes in the obscure reaches of the schedules, such as Liz Kershaw's 6 Music show, but not for the big viewer participation shows. Actually, I see it the other way. Why the hell would anyone bother to run phone-in competitions on a pre-recorded rock show and then compound the sin by having members of the production team "ring up" pretending to be winners? And what happened to the people who presumably picked up the phone and mysteriously couldn't get through? What's the point of all this? The programme doesn't rely on it. Why not just drop the competition? Obviously it was stopped when a new producer took over but before that happened there must have been quite a few people who had worked out what was going on and either bit their lips or shared the producers' contempt for the listening audience.