Thursday, 6 March 2014

Kids, who needs them? Not the BBC.

So farewell, BBC3. You're being turned into a webpage to make room for BBC 1+1, which means that nobody will ever have to missed The One Show, Bargain Hunt or Songs of Praise ever again. Truly, your sacrifice will not be in vain.

What will we miss? Personally, I thought that Some Girls was the freshest sit-com on television for many years although I'm very much not the target audience, and I also adored Nighty Night. Other people will miss Family Guy, American Dad or – for some reason – Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Fuck Off I'm A Hairy Woman and My Life As An Animal.

The point is that being a fat bloke in his late 30s, BBC3 was not for me. It's for da yoof. I pay my licence fee not so that every channel shows stuff I want to watch: when I come to power, all the BBC would show is Jonathan Meades, Star Trek, New Tricks and rolling footage of whatever Mary Beard is doing at any point of the day.

Oh, and live coverage of the corpses of Andrew Neil, Michael Gove, Linda Snell and Melanie Phillips swinging from Tower Bridge having their eyes pecked out.

No, the point of the licence fee is that all citizens' cultural needs are catered for. Just because I'm not keen on Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents and think the 'news' coverage was beyond embarrassing with its celebrity obsession doesn't mean that the people who watch it should be abandoned by the nation's broadcaster. The message from the BBC – now a whipped, beaten cur owned by the Conservative Party – seems to be that the young folk should be outside playing with hoops and the money spent on yet another self-regarding show by that charlatan Alan Yentob. It sure isn't going to be spent on combating anti-poor propaganda or examining political and financial shenanigans.

I thought a lot of BBC3 output was dross, or manipulative tosh. That's the point: there's plenty of BBC programming for me that the kids would jeer at. Now they're being pushed to the margins. The BBC, they're told, is not really for them. They can perch on the edges but they're not considered proper citizens or – dreaded word – stakeholders. What will they feel about the licence fee now? If I were them, I'd be furious. They pay up so that the rest of us can listen to Moneybox Live while they're left with a crappy website and that embarrassing insult to evolution we call Radio One. Support for the fee will disappear (a long-held Conservative fantasy now shockingly accepted by BBC planners) and so will any last dregs of support and affection for the only broadcasting network uninfected by the corruption of consumerism and advertising.

Nice work, BBC. You had one job…

1 comment:

Jake said...

You know, in all fairness, I don't actually know many people under thirty who actually watch much broadcast TV apart from live events like sports fixtures. Not altogether unreasonably, they'd rather watch on iPlayer or commercial services like Netflix at a time of their own choosing with the ability to pause the action if they have to answer the door or a call of nature.

A fact that the BBC is going to have to give some thought to in a few decades, because people are going to stop paying for TV licenses in significant numbers.