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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I thought TV was show business

I'm intrigued by the implications of this Miriam O'Reilly case. Does this mean that TV companies can no longer do what they've done since time immemorial, which is to shuffle off ageing presenters to "do a few specials, spread your wings, darling" and then gradually forget about them when they start looking a bit tired?

This seems to me the way of the world or at least the television version of the world. I can't understand how television can possibly function if it compromises its single-minded obsession with what things look like. Every TV presenter knows that they occupy a very tenuous position in the hierarchy, a bit more important than the sofa upon which they sit but nothing like as important as the theme tune.

It's not as if it's like real life where competence aces everything else. This is television. If you made it as on-screen talent it's likely that your looks played a huge part in getting you there in the first place and therefore it seems likely that their inevitable decline will play a similar role in your downfall. It's the same if you're in the chorus line at the theatre.