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Friday, July 24, 2009

Pets win prizes

I watched a programme on BBC1 last night. That doesn't happen often. It was called "The Rat Pack", about as bog-standard a piece of slice-of-life telly as you can imagine. The BBC may be overpaying certain of its stars but it's good to see that they can still make a series like this for the change they found down the back of Graham Norton's sofa. It was about two brothers whose business was ridding hysterical Londoners of rats. But really it was about their dog Charlie, a Jack Russell who had found, late in life, a true purpose to existence; clamping rats in his teeth and shaking them until their necks broke. The producers made it clear at the top of the programme that this was going to happen and so you had to hang around for the money shot, which came, as ever, near the end. It only worked out because one of the brothers took the precaution of putting the rat in a bucket, thereby making it near impossible for Charlie to fail. You can only conclude that TV viewers have no problem with cruelty to animals, providing it's the right animal dishing out the cruelty and the right one on the receiving end.